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Incidents of the Jonmey 

Six Shillings Net 


Old FaUnres and New Ideak 

Thbee Shillings Net 



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Printed in Great Britatn hy flazell,'^ Watson i: Vinev, Ld., 
London and AyUthury. 



Three motives combined to impel me to attempt 
this book — love to my friend, reverence for the 
gentle lady who bears his name, and gratitude to 
the father whose name he bore. I have found it 
impossible to disentangle the life of Thomas 
Spurgeon from his father's, for he was truly his 
father's son. The interest of the following pages 
will be none the less, I hope, because of the fre- 
quent reference to C. H. Spurgeon ; I think his 
son would be pleased to have it so. 

My admiration for my friend has been deepened 
as I have examined the memorials of the past, 
read his letters — ^many of them quite intimate, and 
come to know more closely the inner springs of his 
conduct. His life had its limitations, of course, 
but it was utterly sincere and altogether true. 
He was what he appeared to be — that and no 
other. I finish my grateful labour with the assur- 
ance that, however unworthily performed, it has 
been worth while to write this biography — a story 
so full of interest and incident, and, in spite of the 
defects in its telling, I believe its readers will think 
it worth while too. 

My grateful thanks are due to Mrs. Thomas 
Spurgeon for her unstinted help in the choice of 
material, and her guidance in various perplexities ; 
to Mr. Charles Spurgeon for his sympathetic assis- 



tance so freely rendered ; to Mr. William Higgs for 
placing his remarkable collection of contemporary 
evidence at my disposal, as well as for the portrait 
page of the Spurgeon sons from infancy to manhood; 
and to Mrs. E. G. Cook for biographical extracts 
from Mr. Spm-geon's writings and sermons. I also 
heartily recognize the kindness of many friends 
who have allowed me to see such of Mr. Spurgeon's 
letters as were in their possession ; where extracts 
have been made from them the som'ces are acknow- 
ledged, but they have all been helpful in supplying 
an atmosphere. 

The volume might easily have been twice its 
present size, but enough has been written, I think, 
to present the living figure of the man whom many 
loved, the man who humbly claimed his heritage, 
and stedfastly followed in his father's steps to- 
wards their Common Goal. His memory beckons 
us all forward. ^ 




The renown of Spurgeon — ^The wonder of his career — Other great 
preachers — The verdict of his contemporaries — The halo 
round his memory — ^His son's tribute — ^The name in the 
forehead , . . . . pp. 1 -14 



The Victorian Age — Father and son — The sixty-three milestones 
—The year 1834— The 1859 Revival— Moody and Sankey 
— ^The Salvation Army — ^The Student Christian Move- 
ment—The Welsh Revival . . pp. 15-30 



The home of their infancy — Boyhood's days — ^Mother's letters 
— Business careers — Early Christian service — ^The part- 
ing of the ways ..... pp. 31-48 




His father's consent — ^The Lady Jocdyn — ^The diary of the 
three months — Preaching on board — ^Incidents pp. 49-61 



Newspaper greeting — His father's fame — Crowded services 
— Letters to and from home — ^The Sea-gull . pp. 62-81 



Preaching at the Tabernacle — ^Mentone — Sketches — Pastors' 
College — ^Back to AustraUa — ^His father's sorrow — The 
night in prayer pp. 82-89 



The Sobraon — ^Tasmania — ^The call to Auckland— The Choral 
Hall— The new Tabernacle— Back to England . pp. 90-110 




Pleading for the new Tabernacle — ^Preaching in the old Taber- 
nacle — Brighter Britain — Gifts from home — Back to New 
Zealand . . , . . , pp. 111-118 



A quaint telegram — ^The opening free of debt — ^Poems — ^Mar- 
riage — Sorrow in the home — ^Resignation — ^Reminiscences 

pp. 11&-136 



Amid the gums at Ocean Grove" — Set apart by the New 
Zealand Baptist Union — Journeys — ^Sermons — Lectures — 
Baptisms — ^Invitations . ... pp. 137-143 



Spurgeon ill — His death — Problems of the Church — ^Dr. A. T. 
Pierson — ^Thomas Spurgeon back in London — ^Three months' 
ministry — ^The enthusiastic farewell — ^The unwilling rivals 
— ^A year's probation . » • . . pp.. 144-163 




Thomas Spurgeon as a preacher — " Not a chip of the old block 
— ^the old block itself" — ^The inner life of the time — The 
call to the pastorate — ^Mrs. Spurgeon's arrival pp. 164-180 



The Tabernacle on fire — Description of the scene — At Exeter 
Hall — ^The College Conference in session — A sense of values 
— ^Laaanis in the *' Epistle of Karshish " pp. 181-189 



The Basement Hall — ^The plan of the new Tabernacle— The 
decision to open free of debt — ^The sympathy of all the 
Churches—Receptions— £45,000 . . pp. 190-199 



The Pastor described — Sermon extracts — Missions — ^The Welsh 
Revival meetings — ^Death of Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon — ^Resigna- 
tion — ^Phonograph message . . pp. 200-213 




The new President — ^The Presidential Address — ^Twenty-one 
years — Extracts from the yearly messages — ^The ship Frtt 
6^ce— The Memorial Conference . . pp. 214-240 



Paris — Switzerland — ^yroX — Italy — Norway — Canary Islanda 
— America — Holidays at home . . . pp. 241-250 



From Church leaders — From his father — ^To his son — ^To many 
friends on many occasions — His great correspondence — 
Extracts from many letters . . pp. 251-265 



Hi» mother's prophecy — ^Three exhibitions of pictures — Sales 
and criticisms — ^The scenes of his father's early life — ^The 
artist in colour, in words, and in souls pp. 266-271 




His books — Contributions to The Sword and Trowel — ^The Editor- 
ship — His poems . . . . . pp. 27^276 



The Pastors' College — ^Wit and humour — Friendship with 
students — Stockwell Orphanage — ^Deputation journeys — 
Directorship — A projected book — ^The Colportage Associa- 
tion . . . . . . . pp. 277-286 



The last year — Health reports — Diamond Jubilee — His son's 
recollections — ^His homes — His kindness — His father's death 
— ^The benediction of Thomas Cox — Appreciations— His 
own view of heaven — ^The funeral service — His last meeting 

pp. 287-302 

iNDEa^ , , , , , . -pp. 303-304 


Thomas Spurgeon . . • Frontispiece 


The Spurgeon Sons: Twenty-one Yearly 

Pictures 64 

An Early Caricature . , . 105 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Spurgeon : A Jubilee 

Photograph 208 

At Spurgeon's Orphanage , . , . 272 




The name of Spurgeon is written large in the 
annals of the world, and graven deep in the heart 
of the Church. But until that December evening 
in 1853 when, in country garb, with a black satin 
stock, and a blue handkerchief adorned with white 
spots, a young preacher came to London and 
lodged in a boarding-house in Bloomsbury, it was 
practically unknown. Then it suddenly flashed 
upon the history of his time, the preacher himself, 
all unconsciously, being the best illustration of 
the text of his sermon at New Park Street Chapel 
the next morning : " Every good gift and every 
perfect gift cometh from the Father of Lights, 
with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of 
turning." Truly Spurgeon was a good gift to his 
generation, a light from the Source of Light ; 
those who invited him from his little corner in 
Cambridgeshire must almost have been inspired, 
and long since, they, and he, and the son whose 
biography is the burden of this book, know in 
their own experience the truth of the text on the 
evening of that memorable day : " They are with- 
out fault before the throne of God." 

It would be an exaggeration to say that the 


name was utterly unknown before that day, for 
it was borne by Huguenot ancestors who in their 
time were worthy ; worthily borne, too, by the 
godly Congregational minister of Stambourne, 
whose grandfatherly guardian influence on the 
lad was so deep and lasting, and by John Spur- 
geon, his father, also a Congregational minister, 
who outlived his son, and exercised a gracious 
ministry in various places. Him I knew well, 
preached for him at Ishngton, heard him preach 
in his son's Tabernacle, but neither in him nor 
in his father was there a trace of the genius of 
the Messenger of God who thrilled the world with 
his gospel, became the acknowledged evangelical 
leader of his day, and made the name of Spurgeon 
an honour to the Baptists for all time. Yet until 
he was fourteen years of age he had never heard 
of the Baptists, and it was amongst the Metho- 
dists that on the sixth day of January, 1850, he 
first came into a living experience of the grace of 
God. Years after he wrote : " Richard Knill says 
that at such a time of the day, clang went every 
harp in heaven for Richard Knill was born again ; 
and it was even so with me." 

The story of that snowy Sunday has been often 
told. Perhaps Thomas Spurgeon may be allowed 
to tell it again. " I stood the week before last," 
he says in a sermon, " with uncovered head and 
throbbing heart, as near as it was possible to get 
to the spot where my dear father, your late be- 
loved pastor, ' looked and lived.' I paid a special 
visit to the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Artil- 
lery Street, Colchester, to see the place where the 


local preacher cried, ' Young man, you look very 
miserable ! Look to Jesus. Young man, look to 
Jesus, look and live.' They have erected a tablet 
with an inscription after this fashion, ' Near this 
spot C. H. Spurgeon looked and lived.' And then 
there is a quotation from one of his sermons de- 
scribing his conversion. It was a sacred spot to 
me and to many another. Run and see it if you 
have opportunity, and as you look at it, lift up 
your heart to God that you may be kept looking 
to Jesus, and that your loved ones may be kept 
looking also. A single look will save thee. 

*' * I looked on Him, He looked on me, 
And we were one for ever.' 

That is the briefest description of C. H. Spurgeon's 
conversion that I have ever seen, and I do not 
think there could be a better." 

There is, I imagine, no case on record where a 
preacher so instantly claimed the ear of the people, 
and held it for so long a time. He did not gradu- 
ally grow in popular favour, he descended as a 
star from heaven. William Pitt is the only public 
man who in an equal degree walked upon the stage 
of Hfe as one whose right it was to reign. It is al- 
most impossible for the present generation to 
realize how great was the renown of Spurgeon at 
his zenith. He was not only followed and admired, 
he was trusted and loved beyond his fellows. 
Thomas Binney was London's greatest preacher 
when Spurgeon arrived, and at first he was in- 
clined to deride the boy in the pulpit as a charla- 
tan, but he quickly saw his mistake, and to a 


gathering of students he said : "I have enjoyed 
some amount of popularity ; I have always been 
able to draw together a congregation ; but in 
the person of Mr. Spurgeon, we see a young man, 
be he who he may and come whence he will, 
who at twenty-four hours' notice can command a 
congregation of twenty thousand people. Now I 
have never been able to do that, and I never knew 
of anybody else who could do it." 

D. L. Moody had not then appeared upon the 
scene, but mighty as was his influence his verdict 
on Spurgeon was : "In regard to coming to your 
Tabernacle I consider it a great honour to be in- 
vited : and, in fact, I should consider it an honour 
to black your boots, but to preach to your people 
would be out of the question. If they will not 
turn to God under your preaching, neither will 
they be persuaded though one rose from the 
dead." He did, however, preach in the Tabernacle 
afterwards, and in his London campaign he got 
Spurgeon to preach for him. In writing to thank 
him he said : "I wish you could give us every 
night you can for the next sixty days. There are 
so few men who can draw on a week night." 
Remember that this was twenty-two years after 
Spurgeon had come to London, and that during 
all that time he was able at any time to command 
a crowd as great as Chrysostom in Constanti- 
nople or Savonarola in Florence, though each of 
them commanded it for a much shorter time. 

That was the wonder of it : he built a Taber- 
nacle seating between five or six thousand per- 
sons, and able to contain over seven thousand, and 


for thirty-eight years maintained his congregation 
there and elsewhere in London. At one time he 
moved to the Agricultural Hall and filled it. 
Francis and Bernard, Wesley and Whitefield 
gathered as great throngs, but they passed from 
place to place, while Spurgeon remained rooted 
in the metropolis. Henry Ward Beecher and 
Canon Liddon were as popular, but they did not 
preach so continuously nor so long. There are, 
indeed, not wanting some who trace back through 
the history of the Church and only find Spurgeon's 
peer in Paul. 

The wonder grows when we consider that week 
by week the sermons were printed and sold, and 
reproduced in countless ways. Ian Maclaren has 
told us of the Scotch wife who gave parting in- 
structions to her husband when he went to town, 
and called after him the final message : " Dinna 
forget Spurgeon," and has added to the story his 
own verdict on the preacher. " Who of all 
preachers you can mention in our day could have 
held such companies save Spurgeon ? Who is to 
take their place when the last of these well-known 
sermons disappear from village shops and cottage 
shelves ? Is there any other gospel which will 
ever be so understanded of the people, or so move 
human hearts, as that which Spurgeon preached 
in the best words of our own tongue ? . . . I 
cannot forget Spurgeon." In thousands of homes 
these sermons were read, in many little assemblies 
they were the message of God to the people, and 
not a few preachers boldly redelivered them to 
their congregations. So that all over the world 


Spurgeon led people to God, comforted people in 
their sorrows and stablished them in their faith. 
Little wonder that he was venerated and adored. 
I know of an old man in a country district which 
Spurgeon was to visit who asked permission from 
his master to attend the preaching. The farmer 
insisted on the day's work being done first, and 
so the old man began at the first streak of day to 
use his scythe, and at every sweep of it he said : 
'* Spurgeon ! Spurgeon ! Spurgeon ! " until, hav- 
ing finished his task, with a glad spirit he got 
away to hear the man whose name had inspired his 
heart for years and been on his lip all the morning. 

There is also a story of an old lady who was so 
comforted by one of the printed sermons that 
she bought twenty copies of it, and had them 
bound in a volume. 

Dr. MacArthur of New York tells that on pass- 
ing the cottage by the gate of Melrose Abbey he 
discovered how Spurgeon was honoured there. 
*' I saw an old Scotch lady, with white hair and 
the bloom of heather on her cheek, and she was 
sitting and reading. She was the wife of the 
gate-keeper, and I could not help noticing, with- 
out intending to be intrusive, that she was reading 
one of Mr. Spurgeon's sermons. I said to her, ' I 
am glad you are reading that sermon, for I love 
the man and the sermons,' and I added, ' do you 
know I expect to see him and hear him next 
Sunday.' She looked at me a moment, and then 
exclaimed, ' Oh ! what wadna / gie to see his 
face, and hear his voice ! ' She called her hus- 
band that he might look at me, because I was 


to look at Spurgeon on Sunday, and she said : 
' I dinna wish to envy ye, but I wad gie all I hae 
if I could see him mysel'.' " 

Very pertinently The Pall Mall Gazette said : 
" At first a curiosity, then a notoriety, but he has 
been recognized long since as one of the first 
celebrities of the day." The Spectator gave as true 
a verdict : '' Mr. Spurgeon is, in fact, a Cobden 
in the pulpit preaching a well-understood form 
of Christianity instead of Free Trade." The 
Church Times was generous enough to admit that 
*' he was a master of an English style which many 
a scholar might envy ; the style could only have 
been acquired by great pains, and by the constant 
study of the best literary models which it recalls." 
The Christian Weekly recalled the fact that " one 
of the most accomplished literary critics of our 
time has declared that ' in Mr. Spurgeon's ser- 
mons there are many passages which a really 
catholic anthology of English prose would not 
omit, and an informing spirit which hardly breathes 
among us now.' " 

Professor Ferrier said to Principal Tulloch 
when they had heard a sermon in the Tabernacle 
— " It sat so close to reality." Alongside which 
may be put the saying of a man who was encoun- 
tered outside the Tabernacle under the portico by 
another from his village. The second, an earnest 
Christian man, expressed to the first, who was 
one nobody would have expected to go and hear 
Spurgeon, his astonishment in finding him there. 
" Ah," he answered in a tone of unfeigned solemnity, 
" every man has his own tale told here." 


" Coming to London," Dr. Culross wrote, 
" scarcely out of his boyhood he discarded pulpit 
twang and jargon, threw off the trammels of cul- 
ture, and spoke straight out of the heart in the 
simplest and clearest language that he could 
command;" while Dr. Clifford declares: "He 
initiated a new epoch in spiritual reality, of pas- 
sionate faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the one 
remedy for sin, of robust and manly religion, and 
of hatred of all shibboleths, hesitations and in- 
sincerities. In preaching he created a revolution : 
he substituted naturalness for a false and stilted 
dignity, passion for precision, plain homely Saxon 
for highly Latinized English, humour and mother- 
wit for apathy and sleepiness, glow and life for 
machinery and death." 

In one of the latest of autobiographical books 
Lord Morley bears his witness : " He had a glorious 
voice, unquestioning faith and ready knowledge of 
apt texts of the Bible, and a deep, earnest desire 
to reach the hearts of the congregation, who were 
just as earnest in responding." 

On the occasion of Mr. Thomas Spurgeon's visit 
to Edinburgh, Dr. Alexander Whyte wrote on 
May 4th, 1912 : " The name of Spurgeon always 
thrills my heart, and that more and more the 
longer I live. Both personally and as a preacher 
I cannot put in common words all I owe to Spur- 
geon. And extraordinarily high as is the rank 
that Spurgeon holds in the estimation of multi- 
tudes, I much question if, even so, he has yet 
come to his own in this respect. The absolute 
amazing fertility of Spurgeon's pulpit and desk, 


and the noble and charitable and educational 
movements that he began and carried on, and all 
steeped in the truest apostolical and evangelical 
spirit, all combine to place Spurgeon in the very 
foremost rank of our great preachers and pastors. 
I wish much that I could have shaken Mr. Spur- 
geon's hand in my honour and love to him as the 
son of such a father." 

One of the finest tributes paid to him is in a 
preface by Sir William Robertson Nicoll to the 
little selection of Spurgeon's sermons published 
by Nelson. He says : 

" There were hundreds of thousands who believed 
that they owed to him their own souls. What 
was said of Newman may with certain modifica- 
tions be applied to him. It was he who had 
opened to them visions of the unseen ; it was he who 
sometimes half lifted the very veil of the other 
Country. It was he who made heaven and hea- 
venly ministers something more than objects of 
faith. It was he who invested all the facts of 
the Christian redemption with new and entranc- 
ing certainty. It was he who made life for his 
disciples a more august thing in contact with him, 
and made them capable of higher efforts and 
nobler sacrifices. But even those who stood 
further away knew as if it was by instinct that 
Mr. Spurgeon was a man of the stuff of which 
saints are made. They knew that whoever else 
might sink into self-seeking or fall down before 
the golden image of the world, that would he 
never. They knew that religion was always the 


prevailing and mastering idea of his life. He was 
one of those elect few to whom religious cares and 
interests are what secular cares and interests are 
to most men. He was self- controlled, observant, 
and wise, and he had a homely shrewdness and 
humour which were very refreshing. Mr. Spur- 
geon played his part well in the practical world, 
but his life was not there. The growth of the 
kingdom of grace was his prosperity ; the open- 
ing of a new vein of spiritual life was his wealth. 
The one road to his friendship was a certain like- 
mindedness. This spirituality is so rare in men 
of great powers that it is invariably the way to 
influence. It inspires a kind of awe. Men bow 
before it, feel themselves in the presence of the 
eternal world, think wistfully of their own state, 
and are touched for a moment at least by a cer- 
tain sense of wonder and regret." 

How much further the influence of the name 
went in the minds of some to whom it was but 
a name may be imagined from an incident which 
Thomas Spurgeon recounts. He says : 

'' Being doomed, through a blunder, to wait at 
a railway station for an hour, I got into conversa- 
tion with a young man. The prevailing fog served 
as an opening topic, and I was able to assure him, 
since he had never been in London, that this 
was a mere mist, unworthy the dignity of being 
called a fog. My companion asked me if I be- 
lieved in fate ; I answered that I believed in a 
good and wise God. Then the young man tolcj 


me of an atheist, who often spake with him, and 
had expressed the conviction that he, too, would 
ere long think with him (the which may God for- 
bid !). ' He tells me,' said the young man, ' that 
he believes Jesus was a good man, but nothing 
more.' ' Well,' said I, ' you know how to answer 
that. Tell him that Jesus claimed to be God, and 
that if He was not God He was not good.' ' Well, 
but,' rejoined my friend, ' he says there have been 
other men as good as Jesus — Spurgeon for in- 
stance ! ' I have on more than one occasion had 
to conceal emotion, so I managed to keep an un- 
moved face. But I felt the more, and I replied, 
' Ah ! but you should remind him that Spurgeon 
would not for a moment have suffered himself to 
be compared to Jesus, and that he believed most 
firmly that Jesus of Nazareth was the unblemished 
Lamb of God.' " 

That of course was a vulgar and almost blas- 
phemous estimate, but Spurgeon himself bore a 
true witness that is almost overwhelming in its 
spiritual implication, and I should fancy unmatched 
in the history of any other man. On Monday, 
May 26th, 1890, he said in the Tabernacle at a 
prayer meeting : " How many thousands have 
been converted here ! There has not been a single 
day but what I have heard of two, three or four 
having been here converted : and that not for 
one, two, or three years, but for the last ten 
years ! ! " 

This is the name that Thomas Spurgeon and 


his brother Charles bore. It was an inestimable 
privilege, but it was even more a severe handicap. 
With such a heritage life was almost certain to 
assume a bias. He was almost certainly destined 
to be a preacher, and when he became a preacher 
was sure to be compared, and compared unfavour- 
ably, with his father. It was as difficult for him 
to grow up naturally as for an heiress to discover 
whether she is loved for herself or only sought 
for her money. He might so easily have grown 
up a prig or a pretender, and he was neither, for 
never was a man more truly humble and more 
really sincere. The name helped him and it 
hindered him. At the beginning he had the good 
sense to see that it was his name that carried him 
into the favour of the people. He writes from 
Austraha to his father, who had expressed some 
fears on his account : " I do not think that I 
am being either lionized or idolized in the true 
sense of the term. The attention paid to me and 
the interest taken by the great majority is out of 
pure Christian love to the honoured name of 
Spurgeon and the honoured man who bears it." 

He would be the first to give his father the long 
precedence. He honoured him above all men, 
because he honoured God most. " My father's 
God ! " he said. " I want to see Him as father 
saw Him, with eyes opened by the Holy Spirit's 
touch, and to speak with Him as friend speaketh 
with his friend. Among the few treasures I pos- 
sess which once belonged to my dear sire, I have 
a staff on which he used to lean, a walking-stick 
which often helped him on the road, and some- 


times even on the platform. But, thank God, I own 
another staff, which he too rejoiced in, my God 
and his, on whom he leaned in days of persecution 
and distress, and illness and weakness. How 
hard he leaned none but he and his Helper know. 
' I will exalt him ' by leaning on Him as dear 
father did, I will exalt ' my father's God ' by 
preaching the self-same truths my father preached, 
by passing on the message that was on his lips al- 
most to the latest day. I would rather that my 
lips were sealed than that they should attempt 
to preach another gospel." 

The nearest parallel to the history of the father 
and son is in the history of the two Jonathan 
Edwards, father and son, both of them preachers, 
both presidents of a college. In that case it is 
more difficult to say which was the greater, though 
the man whom God used to begin the New Eng- 
land revival no doubt excelled his son. In this 
case, while both are great, it is no disparagement 
to the son to say that the father was much greater. 
Thomas Spurgeon built two Tabernacles, one in 
New Zealand, and the other at Newington Butts. 
Both are in the same style as the Tabernacle his 
father built, but both are smaller, though the 
second is larger than the first. Thomas Spur- 
geon was built on the same plan as his father, but 
he was not so spacious : yet he greatened with 
the years, and even had he not been known as a 
Spurgeon he would have been loved and honoured 
as a man. 

In later years he felt that the honour of the 
name was in his keeping, and sometimes when his 


own generous heart might have led in one direc- 
tion he feared, and rightly feared, to compromise 
the testimony his father had borne. He had not 
only to ask what would his father have done, but 
what other people might think his father would 
have done, and he was wilHng, on occasion, to 
suffer reproach rather than even run the risk 
of smirching the name. To the end he kept the 
flag flying and kept it mast high. 

A stranger who had never seen him before once 
greeted him and called him by his name, and when 
Thomas Spurgeon asked him how he knew him 
the stranger gave as answer, " Your name is written 
on your forehead." It was also written on his 
heart and in his life. 



Mr. Asquith in the '' Romanes Lecture'' for 1918 
on Some Aspects of the Victorian Age, in his 
masterly review of that period was only able to 
devote a few sentences to Church affairs. *' I may 
say nothing to-day about the religious aspect of 
the matter. The rise and fall of Tractarianism ; 
the fears and the hopes aroused by the Roman 
Catholic propaganda and the so-called Papal 
Aggression ; the powerful influence of that remark- 
able set of personalities who were rather crudely 
grouped as ' The Broad Church ' ; the sway of the 
Preachers, such as Robertson at one extreme and 
Spurgeon at the other (for the Victorians were a 
church-going and chapel-going people) : all these 
are topics which an historian of the Age will have 
to sort into due proportions and perspective." 

As a contribution to that study it may be sug- 
gested that a distinct religious epoch was covered 
by the two Spurgeon ministries ; an Era begin- 
ning about the same time as the Victorian Age, 
perhaps a little later, and continuing longer ; an 
Era distinguished by spiritual uprising and by 
ecclesiastical reform, marked off by the war and 



destined to give place to a new Era in the days 
of peace that are to come. 

The two Spurgeon ministries may, for this pur- 
pose, be taken as one. The influence of C. H. 
Spurgeon was undoubted. Mr. Asquith, though 
placing him second, would no doubt give him the 
premier place so far as influence on the multitude 
is concerned. Thomas Spurgeon faithfully carried 
on the tradition, and his years saw the outwork- 
ing of the forces of his father's time. 

That his father associated his son's ministry 
with his own is clear enough from occasional refer- 
ences which, sometimes unconsciously, revealed his 
inner mind. Several of these will be quoted in 
subsequent chapters. Here it will be enough to 
refer to two sermons and one letter. 

In a sermon on " The True Apostolical Succes- 
sion " we find this passage : " How many there 
are in our midst who have been raised up by God 
to fill similar positions in the Church to those 
which their forefathers occupied ! I hope there 
will always be a family succession in the eldership 
and in the deaconship and, what if I were egotistical 
enough to say so, in the ministry too. I would 
to God there might be in every single position of 
the Church, as soon as one dies, another allied 
to and descended from the departed to take his 

Another passage even more definite occurs in a 
sermon on " Now : a Sermon for Young Men and 
Women " : ** It may not be my honour to be suc- 
ceeded in this pulpit by one of my sons, greatly 
as I would rejoice if it might be so ; but at least 


I hope they will be here in this church to serve 
their father's God ; and to be regarded with 
affection by you for the sake of him who spent his 
life in your midst." 

To his son himself, in a letter dated August 26th, 
1887, he opens his heart : "I awoke this morning 
saying to myself," he writes, " ' If Tom could live 
here I should die happy, for I should drop the 
reins into his hands.' Now I am not going to drop 
them so far as I can see, but it shows that I was 
dreaming of you as a successor." 

If the son's ministry had remained alone we 
might scarcely be justified, in spite of his father's 
judgment, in considering it as part of the same 
Era, but it is a remarkable fact that though C. H. 
Spurgeon had passed, so far as the speaking of the 
Message was concerned (and it may here be noted 
that he died at an age four years younger than his 
son), the publication of his sermons continued all 
along the course of his son's ministry. Both ended 
together, and the sixty-three volumes of sermons 
that have been issued in regular succession since 
1855 (the last volume not quite completed) are 
the milestones on the way. Never in the world's 
history has there been such a record. In the 
original form the sermons have been circulated to 
the extent of over 105,000,000, and they have been 
reprinted in countless ways and in many lan- 
guages. Mr. Charles Spurgeon, like his brother, 
has also ministered the word during these years, 
but he is now devoting himself to the care of his 
father's Orphanage, so the Spurgeon ministry, in a 
very real sense, may be thought of as a thing of 


the past, ceasing with the end of the pubHcation 
of The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. 

When the last sermon was pubhshed, a remark- 
able article appeared in The Times, part of which 
may be reproduced not only as a tribute to the 
preacher, but as an estimate of the Era the ser- 
mons represent : 

" The publishers have announced that for the 
present they have terminated the weekly publica- 
tion of Mr. C. H. Spurgeon's sermons. The series 
began in January, 1855, and every week since that 
date a sermon by the great Baptist preacher has 
been published. They provide a contribution to 
homiletic literature from a single preacher of un- 
precedented extent and of quite special significance. 

"It is instructive to observe that, since the 
preachers of each age have spoken in the language 
of their times, few things help us better to judge 
religious life and thought in any period than the 
sermons of its popular divines. The homely style 
of Latimer gave place to the conceits of Andrewes 
and Donne, to be succeeded by the ornate splen- 
dour of Jeremy Taylor, who in turn gave place to 
the massive thought of Barrow, to be followed by 
the flowing style of men like Tillotson, and then 
by philosophers like Butler, and from each we 
learn much of the days in which they lived. The 
Nonconformist and Puritan divines were often 
preachers of great power ; and Baxter, Owen, 
Bunyan, and Howe not only give vivid expression 
to their conception of the faith, they match the 
needs and aspirations of their fellows. John 


Wesley and Whitefield began a new era in preach- 
ing, appealing directly to those who were outside 
the ministrations of both Church and Nonconfor- 
mity. Since their day English preachers have 
striven to give their ministry a directly popular 
aim, while the names of men like Newman, F. D. 
Maurice, Robertson of Brighton, Liddon, R. W. 
Dale, Maclaren, and C. H. Spurgeon remind us of 
preachers whose message has challenged the con- 
sciences as well as appealed to the minds of modern 
Englishmen of the most varied religious experi- 
ence. Among the preachers of the nineteenth 
century, and remarkable men are to be numbered 
among them, Spurgeon has a special place. He 
was from the first identified with militant Non- 

" In character, thought, religious experience, 
speech, and, we may add, appearance, Spurgeon 
was typical of the Nonconformity of the lower 
middle class sixty or seventy years ago. A keen 
student of human nature, thoroughly alive to the 
motives by which men are influenced, he was an 
acute experimental psychologist, able without any 
finesse to make his direct appeal to the consciences 
of men in the terms which they could at once 
understand. Though he had considerable intel- 
lectual gifts he was not a man of any wide culture. 
He had never been at a college and was a self- 
educated man, but he had read diligently in various 
fields of religious literature. His knowledge of 
the great Puritan divines was extensive and 
accurate. And Spurgeon could always bring all 
his powers into action. He was hindered by no 


hesitations of self-consciousness, no misgiving as 
to the value of what he had to say, no doubt as 
to the needs of his hearers ; for he was entirely 
certain that his message had come to him from 
Heaven, and that he was bidden to deliver it by the 
power of the Divine Spirit for the conversion of 
his fellow-men. 

" The results justified his confidence. Almost 
from the first crowds flocked to hear him. The 
chapel which had been almost empty when he be- 
came its pastor was soon far too small for the con- 
gregations, and while it was being enlarged he 
migrated to Exeter Hall. The interest he excited 
there was so widespread that as a consequence 
Sunday evening services were begun in St. Paul's 
Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, where they have 
been continued ever since. When Exeter Hall 
was no longer available Spurgeon preached to huge 
congregations in the Surrey Gardens Music Hall, 
and it is claimed thousands of conversions took 
place. At last the great Metropolitan Tabernacle 
was built in Newington ; and there until his last 
illness and death, in 1892, Spurgeon retained a 
congregation of about 7,000 people who flocked to 
hear him twice every Sunday. 

*' It is not to be wondered at that Spurgeon 
was for a time a butt of ridicule. There was 
much which at first glance seemed to invite it. 
His appearance, his manner in the pulpit, his 
humour, his homeliness of speech made him an 
easy prey to the caricaturist ; even his undoubted 
success became a cause of offence to unfriendly 
critics. He was described as ' a clerical poltroon,' 


presuming to indulge in ' arrogant declamation 
to the Deity,' offering prayers ' most profanely 
familiar.' One religious journal which might 
have been expected to show more sympathy stated, 
' Solemnly do we express our regret that insolence 
so unblushing, intellect so feeble, flippancy so 
ostentatious, and manner so rude should, in the 
name of religion and in connection with the Church, 
receive the acknowledgment of even a momentary 
popularity.' But the real power and worth of 
Spurgeon made itself felt. In the course of time 
men of wide experience and culture learned to 
appreciate his character, abilities, sincerity, and 
spiritual power. A man may claim to be known 
by his fruits ; and no ministry in modern times 
has affected so many men of such varied experi- 
ences in every part of the world as C. H. Spurgeon's. 
There is something in these sermons which grips 
the heart and challenges the conscience ; and 
many who never heard the preacher have read 
these homely but persuasive discourses almost 
in every corner of the world. 

" Spurgeon's life and character were all of a 
piece. He belonged to the lower middle classes, 
and his ideals were theirs. The poor preacher who 
at first was content to supplement his pastor's 
pittance by teaching in a private school, when his 
income increased and the profits from the sale of 
his sermons and books enabled him to live in the 
comfort of a prosperous professional man, had no 
hesitation in using the good things of the world 
after the method of the class to which he belonged. 
There is an amusing entry in Archbishop Benson's 


diary which describes a visit Spurgeon paid to him, 
and reports the Baptist pastor saying that — ' "There 
are some heathen that won't give in to anything 
but the Word — it takes ingenuity to find the 
Word that will convince them. It's not the real 
meaning of the passage that affects them. It's 
the applicability of the words themselves to their 
particular case." So he talked on, the Antiquus 
Ego was ever before his eyes. But he made us 
all like him very much, and respect the Ego which 
he respected, and feel that he had a very definite 
call by the help of it to win souls for Christ, or 
rather to help those souls to Christ who were sure 
to come one way or other. " I'm a very bad 
Calvinist, quite a Calvinist — I look on to the time 
when the Elect will be all the world." This I don't 
understand, I fear. He stayed nearly two hours, 
interesting us all much, and he drove away in a 
very nice brougham with two very nice light chest- 
nuts, almost cream coloured, and his coachman 
had a very shabby hat.' 

" Spurgeon's sermons are nearly always arranged 
according to the same plan. There are the three 
or four main headings with their various sub- 
divisions, presenting repeated and direct appeals to 
the consciences of his hearers. But with this per- 
manence of outline there is the greatest variety of 
subject. He was alive to everything that was 
going on around him, quick to make use of any 
notable event, if by that means he could give 
emphasis to his message. For instance, Londoners 
of about forty years ago will remember the way in 
which they were moved by the loss of many lives 


in the sinking of the Princess Alice, a pleasure 
steamer which went down in the Thames. The 
sermon preached by Spurgeon at that time served 
to give the disaster a vividness of spiritual meaning 
which affected many. Throughout these sermons, 
of which millions of copies have been sold, there 
is constant proof that the preacher is in the closest 
sympathy with the people to whom he preached. 
He never forgot the great central verities of the 
Christian faith. It is true that he was a strong 
Baptist and a Calvinist, and would have nothing 
to do with liberalism in theology. But he be- 
lieved that the Christ whom he preached was able 
to save all men. He preached with the purpose 
of conversion, and he succeeded to a wonderful 

" Spurgeon was a tireless worker, and his com- 
paratively early death in his fifty-eighth year was 
caused by over- work. Yet the constant preach- 
ing which would have exhausted the powers of 
most strong men was but a part of his work. His 
sermons and numerous writings brought him con- 
siderable sums of money, which he devoted to the 
Pastors' College, the Stockwell Orphanage, the 
Colportage Association, and other works which he 
founded. To these he gave himself and his means 
without reserve. Some of his lectures to the 
students of the Pastors' College are to be read in 
four volumes of Lectures to my Students, and 
they are to be warmly commended to the candi- 
dates for the ministry of all denominations. Few 
books are so full of spiritual counsel to preachers 
and yet so thoroughly sane as these. The Trea- 


sury of David is another work of quite special 
importance which we owe to Spurgeon, containing 
as it does a vast collection of the choicest Puritan 
literature on the Psalms. The publishers have 
met the sustained demand for Spurgeon's sermons 
by publishing them in volumes according to their 
subjects or the texts from which they were taken, 
or as devotional books of various kinds, so that 
the Spurgeon literature takes many forms. 

" Spurgeon was a Puritan and a Calvinist. In 
so far as this is a true description of the man it 
would seem to declare his inability to appeal to 
the religious instincts and needs of the men of our 
time. But in fact no modern preacher has spoken 
so directly to men's hearts as this herald of re- 
actionary Protestantism. The secret lay in his 
knowledge of God as He is revealed in the Bible, 
and his knowledge of men as he learned it in his 
own experience. To these he brought an entire 
devotion to his ministry in the conviction that in 
it he was appointed to glorify His Master and save 
the souls of his fellow-men. He had the Calvinist's 
belief in the Sovereignty of God, and the Puritan's 
passion for righteousness, but his humour and his 
sympathy saved him from the harshness of both 
and enabled him to commend to his hearers the 
Gospel which he preached with a homeliness that 
only served to manifest its power." 

In very truth Spurgeon was a Puritan and a 
Calvinist — ^there can be no juster characterization of 
his qualities, and if we consider the time of his 
appearance, and the circumstances of his day, it 


will be difficult, in the review, for any of us to 
doubt that it was God's Sovereign Grace that sent 
him, him and no other, at such an hour. It might 
be said that he was the product of his time, if he 
had not been trained so much apart from it and 
begun to influence his time before it had the oppor- 
tunity of influencing him. 

In the year that William Carey died, 1834, ten 
days afterwards, Spurgeon was born, just as 
Carey called the Church of Christ to expect great 
things from God, and attempt great things for 
God, the year after John Wesley's voice was 
silenced. Here is the true succession of Apostles. 
One age was ending and another about to begin. 
A Voice was needed, and God sent a man ade- 
quately fitted for the appointed task. It was the 
very year when new tides of spiritual power began 
to flow all along the coast of the Church of Christ. 

In the Anglican Church the Tractarian Move- 
ment, inaugurated the previous year, had gathered 
such force in 1834 that the Christian Observer raised 
the cry of Romanism, and in Spurgeon's boyhood, 
under the leadership of Keble, Newman, and 
Pusey, it increased in volume and power. 

In the Scotch Church the attempt to force an 
unpopular minister on the parish of Auchterarder, 
in 1834, led to a struggle for the independence of 
Church and State, which in 1843 impelled 470 
ministers to leave the Church of St. Andrew's in 
Edinburgh to form the Free Church of Scotland, 
with such men as Chalmers, Guthrie, CandHsh, 
Duff, and McCheyne as leaders — one of the most 
glorious processions in history. Spurgeon was 


then nine years of age. In 1885 he wrote : " When 
a boy we remember the enthusiasm of the Inde- 
pendent congregation with which my family are 
connected. Certain of the Disruption men have 
been amongst our choicest friends, and we hke to 
think of all they did and suffered for the truth's 

Another movement of a different order, yet in- 
formed by the same desire for reality and freedom, 
began in Ireland, and took shape amongst the 
Brethren at Plymouth, spreading rapidly amongst 
eager Evangelical folk in this country and on the 
Continent. Again, 1834 was a year of crisis, for 
it was then that J. N. Darby published his book 
on Christian Liberty in Preaching, and proclaimed 
that the Church was in ruins. 

These different movements seemed to have no- 
thing in common, seemed indeed to oppose each 
other like contrary currents ; the people of the 
time could not guess that they were all caused by 
the rising of the tide, which on one side of an 
island may flow in a direction the exact opposite 
of the tide on the other side of the island, though 
they are both part of one great impulse. The 
whole nation — ^may we not say the whole world ? 
— ^was feeling after God, and God was not forgetful 
of His people. One evidence of His care was that 
He was preparing a prophet to speak His word — 
a prophet who was in the desert until the time of his 
showing unto Israel, who then came forth, know- 
ing well the Shepherd's Voice, and not knowing, 
nor caring to know the voice of strangers. 

That he was part of his time, though he was not 


the product of it, is seen in the harmonious deve- 
lopments in other directions. In 1859, five years 
after his ministry in London began, there came 
the Great Revival which has left its mark on the 
life of the people until this day. Nobody knows 
how it began : its first manifestation was in 
America, after a series of business failures in that 
country, but whether caused by them or whether 
they sprang from the same cause as the Revival 
cannot be determined. In the following year 
Ireland and Scotland witnessed the same phe- 
nomena accentuated by physical signs, real enough, 
but difficult to explain. Professor Cairns bears 
witness that in his young days the Christian leaders 
in aggressive Evangelical circles were largely the 
fruit of '59, and I can bear the same witness as 
to the north of Ireland. In the sixties the move- 
ment, shorn of its extravagances and partly bereft 
of its power, reached England, where it came as a 
sort of aftermath of Spurgeon's own ministry. 

All along the course of the Spurgeon ministry 
such visitations of God's grace occurred, not 
caused by it, but not apart from it. In 1873 D. L. 
Moody and Ira D. Sankey came to this country. 
Mr. Moody, asked to state his creed, declared that 
it was already in print in the fifty-third of Isaiah, 
and Mr. Sankey sang that the search for the lost 
sheep was more to the mind of Christ than even 
the care of the ninety and nine. The evangelists 
had no warmer friend than the Pastor of the 
Tabernacle — ^that has already been made clear 
in the previous chapter. 

It cannot be said that the Keswick Convention 


which was the outgrowth of this Revival had the 
support of either Spurgeon, though both were 
close friends of many of its leaders. But the truth 
embodied in the teaching of the Convention, that 
holiness, like conversion, comes not by works 
but by faith, and that Christ can give instant 
deliverance from sin and constant victory over 
temptation, has now become almost axiomatic in 
Christian thinking, and was, in fact, part of the 
Spurgeon message. 

The uprising of the Salvation Army was but a 
symptom of the same desire to bring Christ to the 
people, and to lead the people to God. It was the 
flowing of the tide into another bay, with a head- 
land between, which prevented observers in either 
bay seeing both as one movement — ^that was only 
given to those on the headland or on the height. 
Spurgeon held aloof from the Army but greatly 
admired the zeal of both Catherine and William 
Booth. General Booth visited him on one occa- 
sion in the early years and sought his co-operation. 
With characteristic adroitness he said that he 
would not like to have it reported that Spurgeon 
had refused him the Tabernacle for a meeting, 
but that if Spurgeon would hold up his little finger 
he would ask him for it. "I did not hold up 
my finger," said Spurgeon to me afterwards. But 
he gave General Booth his hand, and in after years 
the General spoke in the new Tabernacle on two 
different occasions. 

The Spurgeon Era also covers the rise of the 
Student Christian Movement, with the consequent 
missionary advance ; and the great manifestation 


of essential unity as seen in the memorable 
Edinburgh Conference. It may seem to be a 
far cry from the Spurgeons to Dr. John Mott — 
again it is only from the headland or from the 
height that the whole view can be seen. The 
essential truth is common to both of them — " I, 
if I be lifted up will draw all men unto Me." Why, 
the very text that led Spurgeon to the light is a 
missionary text, " Look unto me, and be ye saved, 
all the ends of the earth I " and nobody had greater 
sympathy with student life than he. 

In Thomas Spurgeon's day there came the 
Welsh Revival, and when he was laid aside from 
preaching I could not forbear comparing him with 
Evan Roberts, my immediate neighbour in 
Leicester, since he also, once so greatly used, has 
been called into retirement. The greatness of 
both men is seen in their unspoiled temper during 
their forced inaction. Neither was soured by 
disappointment, or rendered unsympathetic to- 
ward those who held the field. Mr. Spurgeon 
visited Wales during the Revival time, preached 
in a coal-pit to some of the exuberant spirits, and 
was afterwards through the instrumentality of the 
Welsh students of the Pastors' College permitted 
to see a splash of the tide in the Tabernacle. 

That it is no mere fancy of a friendly biographer 
which looks upon the sixty-three years as the 
Spurgeon Era may be illustrated by some words 
written of Dr. James Denney, by Sir William 
Robertson Nicoll, whom I quote again, wishing 
that he might even yet be induced to write the 
C. H. Spurgeon biography for which we still wait. 


" We believe," he says concerning Denney, " that 
his wife, who gave him the truest and most perfect 
companionship, led him into a more pronounced 
Evangelical creed. It was she who induced him 
to read Spurgeon, whom he had been inclined to 
despise. He became an ardent admirer of this 
preacher and a very careful and sympathetic 
student of his sermons. It was Spurgeon, perhaps 
as much as any one, who led him to the great 
decision of his life — the decision to preach Christ 
our righteousness." 

Though the great controversy of his life involved 
the Baptist Union, it is a satisfaction to-day to 
find, in the Entrance Hall of the Baptist Church 
House, a fine statue of the great preacher. What- 
ever the new age may hold for us it cannot lessen 
the greatness of that figure, nor lower the eternal 
truth he proclaimed of Christ's Deity, Lordship, 
Atonement and Reign. 



Two years after C. H. Spurgeon settled in London 
twin sons were born to him. They came on Sep- 
tember 20th, 1856, to his earhest London home, 
217, New Kent Road. Great was the joy in the 
home and in the church. The oft-repeated story 
that when his father heard of it he said, " Not i^ 
more than others I deserve ; but God hath given 
me more " is as apocryphal as that earlier story 
that Carey said to Andrew Fuller that he would 
go down into the mine if others would hold the 
ropes. No doubt both sayings would quite truly 
have expressed the feelings of the two men, but 
in both cases they are the sayings of others. In 
the earliest instance the foundation of the story 
is that Fuller wrote concerning Carey : ''It was 
as if he had said, I will go down if you will hold 
the ropes," and in the later it was no doubt the 
comment of one of Spurgeon's friends who suggested 
that the happy father might have said so-and-so. 
But there was no doubt about the boys — there 
they were — the elder called Charles after his 
father, and with a touch of humour, the younger 
called Thomas because he was a twin. That at 
any rate is the probable explanation, though the 



said Tom once in Australia gave a different answer 
when he was asked why his father had given him 
that name. " Before my mother was married," 
he said, " her name was Thompson, so it was quite 
natural that I should be Son Tom." 

No son was ever a fonder lover of his mother 
than he ; his earlier letters overflow with affection 
for " Mudge," became indeed almost extravagant 
in their expressions of endearment, and he never 
wavered in that devotion. It was quite natural 
for him to reply when a superior person said to 
him in the after years, " You would not be where 
you are if you had not been your father's son," 
'' But surely you will give my mother a little of the 
credit too " — an answer which stamped him more 
surely as his father's son than his mother's. 

His father more than once said that if God 
honours His saints before the people, He gener- 
ally takes them behind the door and gives them 
a whipping, and in his own case this was often 
true. But now the order was reversed. God sent 
the great joy into the home, and barely a month 
after sent him in public the greatest sorrow of his 
life. On October 19th, there arose a panic in the 
great congregation at the Surrey Music Hall the 
first time he preached there. Some thieves cried 
'' Fire," and the frantic people rushed for the 
doors, seven being killed and many others injured. 
The preacher did much to calm their fears, but 
afterwards his own mind was paralysed, and the 
next month was spent in a state of inconsolable 
distress. Gradually peace of heart was given to 
him, and mother and children joined him at Croy- 


don, where he had gone to get away from the 
horror that pursued him amid famihar scenes. 
He never quite recovered his nerve in the face of 
an unfamihar crowd, but when the joy of the Lord 
was restored, he gratefully dedicated his twin 
boys, as far as in him lay, to the Lord and to His 
service, and the happy family returned home 

The lads were a little more than a year old 
when their father preached in the Crystal Palace 
to the largest congregation he ever addressed, 
23,654 persons, on October 7th, 1857, the national 
Fast-Day for the Indian Mutiny. A day or two 
before the service he went to the Palace to test 
the acoustics of the place, men being placed at 
various points to see if they could hear his voice. 
As ever, having to say something, he said some- 
thing worth the saying — '' Behold the Lamb of 
God who taketh away the sin of the world." A 
workman, hearing the message unexpectedly, re- 
ceived it as a message from heaven, and was led 
to Christ by it. On the day itself the text was 
" Hear ye the rod and Him that hath appointed 
it," the congregation was deeply impressed, the 
Mutiny Fimd benefited to the extent of £700, 
and Mr. Spurgeon was so exhausted that going to 
bed that Wednesday night he did not awake until 
Friday morning ! ! 

About this time the home had been moved to 
Nightingale Lane, Clapham Common, then in the 
country, now in the busy traffic of London ; and 
here the boys, in the fresher air, grew apace. 
They were of course just like other boys. Their 



father was once asked " Which is the best, Charlie 
or Tom ? " and his answer was characteristic. 
'* CharHe is the best boy when Tom is not with 
him, and Tom is best when CharUe is away.'* 

Their first education was given by a governess, 
and to her the earhest letter of T. S. that has been 
preserved is addressed. It was sent to his son 
Harold quite recently by a lady who says : " My 
dear father came across it at an old curiosity shop, 
and paid five shillings for it, thinking it would 
please me to have it : which it did." The letter, 
in stiff clear writing, runs ; 

" May 6th, 1866. 

" My dear Miss Steventon, 

'' Mamma desires me to write and say, with 
her kind regards, that we shall not be able to come 
to school all next week, as we are going out. 
'' I remain, 

" Your affectionate pupil, 

" Thomas Spurgeon." 

Then they went to a school at Lansdowne 
Road, Stockwell, and afterwards to Lang's School 
at Clapham Park. For a while afterwards they 
were tutored by Mr. Rylands Brown when he was 
a student in the Pastors' College, the boys coming 
down to the Tabernacle for their lessons. When 
at Clapham Park they might have been seen any 
morning running to catch Tilling's omnibus which 
took City men to their work in those days, four- 
in-hand. The conductor knew them as Spurgeon's 
boys, and gladly gave them a lift till his omnibus 


filled up- Once Thomas missed his step and fell 
flat on his face, but he had spirit enough to pick 
himself up and get on the omnibus after all. They 
were fond of skating and of cricket, and Mr. 
Higgs bought a beautiful boat which they used 
to sail on the pond on the Common. 

" I remember as a child," he said in a sermon, 
" earning sixpence from my beloved father once 
for sitting still for a quarter of an hour. I never 
found wage so hard to earn before or since. I 
never consented a second time to attempt such a 
feat at such poor rate of payment." 

In another sermon this occurs — " I used to do 
canvas work when I was a little boy, and if I did 
it wrong I had to unpick it. I know I did not 
like that part. I would always rather do a new 
square. I often think how glad we should be if 
we could only unpick in life those squares that we 
have done amiss." 

On Sunday evenings their mother used to take 
the boys aside and talk to them about the way of 
life, and with one each side of her at the piano 
sing the songs of Zion. " I like to tell," her son 
said years afterwards, '' how she bade us sing 
' There is a fountain filled with blood ' and of how 
when she came to the chorus she used to say, 
' Dear boys of mine, I have no reason to sup- 
pose that you are yet trusting Christ : you will, 
I hope, in answer to our constant prayers, but till 
you definitely do you must not say or sing '*I 
do believe, I will beHeve, that Jesus died for me." 
It is just as wrong to sing a lie as to tell one.' 
Then she used to sing it by herself. Somehow or 



other it did not seem to me, even in those early 
days, that a chorus should be sung by one voice 
only ! Perhaps that little thought helped me to 
long to be able to sing it too, and the Holy Spirit 
wrought in my heart an earnest craving to be 
able to sing 

I do believe, I will believe. 

That Jesus died for me. 

That on the Cross He shed His blood. 

From sin to set me free. 

Oh, how I longed for that ! I remember well the 
bright morning when as we came to the breakfast- 
table, I climbed upon her seat and put my arms 
round dear mother's neck — ^^I like to have them 
there still — ^and I said to her, ' Dear mother, I 
really think I do love Jesus.' Thank God, she 
took me at my word, and said to me, ' I am so 
glad to hear it, I believe you do.' Then I wanted 
Sunday night to come that I might be able to 
sing my loudest in the chorus. Whatever else 
may fade from my memory that scene is indelibly 
fixed there. ' I opened my mouth unto the 
Lord and I cannot go back.' The words were 
spoken into the Lord's ear. The Lord was listen- 
ing, and I believe He also said, ' Dear child, I 
believe you do love Me.' " 

His father's sister, Mrs. Page, about this time 
visited her brother at Nightingale Lane. She 
had been led to Christ by Archibald Brown's 
mother, but had only told two or three of her 
intimate friends of the change in her life. One 
day her nephew Tom, " then quite a little chap 


in knickers, climbed on to my knee," she writes, 
" and putting his arms round my neck, said : 
' Aunt Louie, do you love Jesus ? ' I said, ' Yes, 
Tommy,' and then came the thought that if I 
had thus told a little child, why should I not con- 
fess it to others, and it led me to be baptized and 
to join the Tabernacle Church." 

Through my friend Dr. Thirtle I have come into 
possession of a little book bound in purple leather 
with the boy's name in gold on the cover. It is 
The Pleasant Catechism Concerning Christ, which 
was presented to him by Thomas D. Marshall, who 
was, if I mistake not, Newton Marshall's father. 
On the fly-leaf he has written the words : " He is 
my God . . . my father's God. I will exalt him " 
(Ex. XV. 2-3). Evidently Thomas learnt this 
Catechism for some time, for there are marks, about 
a page distant from each other, to mark the lessons. 
He went steadily through the sections, " The 
Person of Christ," "The Character of Christ," 
" The Work of Christ," but in the fourth section, 
" The Commands of Christ," he seems to have been 
arrested — it is a wonder he did not make an 
illustration of it in years to come. The fifth sec- 
tion, " The People of Christ," he does not seem 
to have touched. 

An interesting episode occurred in the ninth 
year of the twins. On March 14th, 1865, at the 
close of a lecture by their father in the Metro- 
politan Tabernacle, on behalf of " The United 
Kingdom Band of Hope," a branch was formed at 
the Tabernacle, and the two boys came to the 
front of the platform to be enrolled as the first 


two members. Mr. Selway placed the medal and 
ribbon round the neck of each, and asked them 
to address a few words to the meeting. They 
both made the same speech, the first public utter- 
ance for either of them : "I hope to be a teetotaller 
all my life." A letter of "Son Tom " is extant, 
dated March 1865, which will be of interest to 
his friends. Remember that the writer was only 
between eight and nine years old. 

" My dear Mr. Selway, 

" I am very much obliged to you for that 
beautiful book you gave me, and the kind way 
you gave me the medal. I must thank you again 
and again for both. It is a very nice book ; I 
tried hard to read the preface but found the words 
rather difficult, but I will ask Mamma to explain 
them to me. I send my love to you, and hope 
that all your prayers and Papa's will be answered 
for us, and that we may grow up good men and 
preachers like our dear Papa. I hope to keep 
that book as long as I live. I will be able to look 
at it and will then remember what I did when 
I was a little boy. I was very happy in receiving 
the medal, and thought it was a very beautiful one, 
and hope to keep it a very long time. I am sure 
I ought to be, and am, very grateful to you. I 
hope that I will make a longer speech soon." The 
last page is in praise of his father's lecture on 
Candles, which he seems to have enjoyed very 
much ; then he finishes : 

" From your grateful little Friend, 

" Thomas Spurgeon." 


In course of time the house at Nightingale Lane 
was to be rebuilt, and the household moved to 
Brighton during the operation. The boys were 
sent to Camden House School there, and for three 
years and a half were under the care of Mr. William 

In a letter to his mother, dated " Brighton, 
February 20th, 1871," evidently written when his 
parents had returned home, he says : '' Somebody 
sent me a love token, and as the postmark was 
London, S.W., I suppose I shall not be far wrong 
in guessing that the Somebody lives not far from 
Nightingale Lane. " Then, referring to his mother's 
letter of February 14th, he adds : " Ah ! but 
mamma, I have received something better than a 
valentine, something more substantial. If I could 
but speak to you in reality I would like to make 
you guess what it is — A Certificate of Approbation 
awarded to T. S. for good work and conduct 
during the week. Four weeks have slipped away 
and your Tommie has not been reported yet." 
Then, boy-like, he speaks of a holiday to be given 
to the school because some of the scholars had 
distinguished themselves in the Cambridge Local 
Examination, and ends in triumph by saying that 
there is going to be a clock put on the steeple of 
the school chapel, and that perhaps his father 
would like to contribute to it ! 

He and his brother were evidently set on getting 
money for good works early in their lives. About 
this time they compiled a magazine entitled Read- 
ings for Leisure Hours, both being editors, with 
Henry Olney as foreign correspondent. In the 


only issue preserved, Vol. II., No. 5, April 1872, 
they state that they have already raised a guinea 
for the Pastors' College, and ask for more. 

For his sixteenth birthday his mother sends 
him a little note. '' I thank God for sparing you 
so long to me," she says; " and hope that I may 
live to see you a brave, earnest, devoted Christian 
man. My highest wish for you is that you may 
be holy." 

Five other letters from his mother during the 
year 1873 have been carefully guarded by her son. 
In the first, dated February 11th, she says : 

" I am not at all surprised at your elevation to 
the monitorship, but I pray earnestly for you that 
as your privileges and responsibilities increase so 
may your grace and wisdom, and your reliance on 
God. You will be thrown now, my son, into the 
company of elder boys of the school. Oh, I pray 
you, remember what the burden of my heart was 
the night you took leave of me at Brighton. 
' Lord, keep my boys from the evil that is in the 

" You will hear and see and learn things from 
elder boys that perhaps you never dreamed of 
before. Oh, my darling, my precious son, turn reso- 
lutely away from everything that looks like vice or 
wickedness, and keep yourself pure unto the Lord. 
Temptation will be very strong sometimes, but cry 
unto God ; cry mightily and He will deliver you. 
Something in my heart compels me to say this 
to you to-day ; if you do not feel the force of it 
now, you will soonj so treasure up myj^words, 


darling, and above all, trust Jesus and c^i^trust 

" I shall be very anxious to hear what you do, 
and how you get on with your ' Debates.' Papa 
says that extempore speaking is gained only by 
practice, I could wish my boys to shine in this 
particular, but I must in this also learn to say 
' Thy will be done.' 

" God bless the prayer meeting ! May it never 
become a mere formal service, but have loving, 
earnest, pleading hearts to keep it alive, and well 
pleasing to the Lord. 

" Your loving 


That this letter has been kept all these years 
is an indication that, as his mother wished, her 
words had been treasured. Which leads me to 
observe that while the children of good fathers 
often go wrong, the wise and Christian mother can 
generally influence her children aright, especially 
if they are boys. 

About this time Thomas showed an aptitude 
for drawing, and having copied a picture of a 
coastguard from the British Workman sent it home. 
His mother in the same letter says : 

" Your sailor is shown to nearly everybody, and 
they are all loud in its praise. Certainly my 
Tommie can have no doubt about one talent which 
God has given him: how many others has he? 
May they all be devoted to His service ! " 


The picture is reproduced in Mrs. C. H. Spur^ 
geon's biography of her husband. 
On March 19th his mother writes : 

" I was very pleased with the pretty Httle draw- 
ing you sent me. I think it is excellently well 
done, and I am quite proud of my son. By the 
way, I did not know that you aspired to be a poet 
as well as an artist, but your verses are first-rate 
(except the first). Papa says so, and you know 
he is no mean critic. 

" I want particularly to say to you that you 
are to be sure not to take drawing lessons from 
anybody. Last night a professional gentleman 
saw my sailor, and after praising it very highly 
he said, ' never let that dear boy learn drawing. 
Nature will be his best teacher, and the less he 
copies the better.' So, darling, I advise you to 
try your hand on all sorts of objects, for surely 
some day, if you wish it, you will rise to eminence 
in your art." 

Almost a prophecy. In the next letter, written 
from Deal, where she was resting while her hus- 
band was exploring the beauties of the New Forest, 
Mrs. Spurgeon quotes a long description of the 
forest scenery from one of her husband's letters, 
and ends wuth : '' There, dear boys, is not that a 
fine description ? that simple language Papa uses, 
and yet how forcible ! One can almost see the 
scenes he pictures." 

The last school letter is to sympathize with hex 


boy in a disappointment, and his mother gives him 
a very sound bit of advice, as well as good cheer : 

" Don't be discouraged. I am most truly sorry 
for you, for it seems hard, after having tried your 
best, but another time, if I were you, I would 
tackle the most difficult part of any task first, 
and then, that once mastered, all the rest would 
be comparatively easy. For instance, if you had 
begun with the fourteenth proposition and con- 
quered it you would have been sure to have suc- 
ceeded with the others, and this misfortune would 
not have befallen you. Your Papa says this is 
the right way, and he hopes his boy will follow 
it. He, too, is sorry for you, but bids you to be 
of good courage." 

The brothers were chums all along their school 
life, and both were avowed Christians. It was no 
infrequent thing for them to be discovered dis- 
tributing their father's sermons along the Parade 
at Brighton, and, as we have seen, they took the 
lead in a prayer meeting at the school. In honour 
they preferred one another. Mrs. Barker, the 
wife of the minister at Hastings, was once calling 
on Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, and " on being shown 
into the room was attracted by a pile of handsome 
books on the table, which she found on inspection 
were prizes awarded to ' Master Thomas Spur- 
geon.' In a few moments the owner entered, 
evidently sent to entertain the caller until his 
mother was free to appear, and she remarked to 
him that she was looking at his beautiful prijses. 


At once he replied, ' Oh, but let me show you my 
brother Charlie's prizes. Aren't they nice ? ' and 
took her to another pile. The act of the boy in 
seeking to draw my attention from himself to his 
brother was so beautiful, I felt that his disposition 
was delightful, and that he must become a great 
and good man." The correspondent who supplies 
the incident adds : " When later on I had the 
honour of calling him friend, I proved a hundred 
times how the boy was father to the man. He 
never desired great things for himself, but was 
content ' to fill a little space ' in man's estima- 
tion, that Christ might be glorified." 

School days over it became a question what was 
to become of the boys, and the outcome of the 
discussion was that Charles started on a career 
as a merchant in the office of Messrs. Frith Sands 
and Co., in Broad Street, and Thomas as an artist 
in the office of Mr. William Ho Hedge, wood- 
engraver, in Fetter Lane, and both of them were 
in a fair way of prospering when the call came to 
devote themselves to the ministry of the Word 
of God. 

It is difficult to understand why their parents, 
with such a high sense of the value of learning, did 
not give their sons the opportunity of a University 
career. A hint of the reason may be found in 
the letter from their mother when she exhorts 
Tom not to let anybody teach him drawing. 
Deep down in the hearts of both father and mother 
there was, I believe, a sort of intuitive faith that 
their sons would preach the Gospel, and they 
determined that God's Spirit and Nature (though 


I am not quite sure whether any distinction should 
be drawn between the two) should suffice for their 
equipment. Meanwhile they were to know the 
world they lived in, and the men amongst whom 
they would have to labour. 

There was another reason if we search deep 
enough to find it. Those who know the father's 
story will remember how in his early days he 
thought of applying for entrance to Regent's Park 
College, and in the house of Mr. Macmillan at 
Cambridge waited for an interview with Dr. 
Angus, who in another room, owing to the stu- 
pidity of a servant, was waiting for him. Going 
across the Common, disappointed, the Word of 
the Lord came to him, " Seekest thou great things 
for thyself ? seek them not," the words of Jeremiah 
to Baruch in the olden days, the words which 
Bishop Ken wrote in two books that he had 
constantly in use: — '^ Et tu quceris tibi grandia? 
Noli qucerere.^^ Knowing his father and some of 
his deep thoughts, I think that he deliberately 
faced the problem for his boys as well as for him- 
self. " Seekest thou great things for thy sons ? 
seek them not." Perhaps he may have been less 
than just to them, but he was ever more than 
kind, and he had faith that God who called and 
equipped him would do as much for them. Nor 
was his faith disappointed. 

The boys joined the church at the Tabernacle 
when they were eighteen years of age. On Sep- 
tember 20th, 1874, their father preached on the 
text "I and the children," and the next evening 
he baptized them both. The right hand of fellow- 


ship with the Church was theirs on October 4th, 
and the motto given to them — a motto they never 
forgot — was " Ye are not your own, for ye are 
bought with a price." 

They soon got to work for Christ, though it was 
in quite an unconventional way. Near their 
home a gardener, Mr. Rides, had begun informal 
services in his own house, 12, Swaby Road, and 
the brothers soon joined him. Charles was first 
enlisted, and he brought Thomas ; they preached 
in turn, and the rooms soon became too small for 
the people who wished to attend ; it then became 
necessary to seek larger premises. No doubt the 
name of Spurgeon was an attraction. Boling- 
broke Chapel was built in 1877, and the work grew 
until it became the foundation of the present 
Northcote Road Baptist Church. 

But in the very thick of the early success Tom 
discovered that God had for him another way : 
before the year was out he was in Australia, and 
at one of his great meetings there he said that he 
had not been frightened at the services he was 
called to conduct, for when at home he was accus- 
tomed to hold, in a gardener's cottage, a children's 
service in the morning and one for adults in the 

" It is nearly twenty-seven years ago," he said 
in a Tabernacle sermon when he was Pastor of 
that Church, " since I preached from this text 
(2 Kings iii. 16) for the first time, in the little 
mission where I first began to dig for Jesus. I 
tried to urge the people to make the valley full 
of ditches, and I have lived long enough to see 


the whole of that valley — for it was literally a 
valley — ^not only filled with population, but filled, 
as I believe, with earnest Christian work and 
workers ; I bless God that the little one has be- 
come a thousand, for God has made it to prosper. 
We little thought of such results those years ago.'* 

That was the preparation for all the service that 
was to follow. He illustrated it from his own 
experience, in an address to the students of the 
Pastors' College, twenty years afterwards. " If, 
when I began to learn the art of wood-engraving, 
my teacher had let me start away with the graver 
and scooper and tint tool at one of his best blocks, 
he would have had his picture spoiled for one 
thing, and I should never have mastered the art. 
Therefore he set me to single lines and facsimile 
work, then to cross-hatching and to various simple 
tints. One thing I remember on which he laid 
great stress — too much stress to please me at the 
time ; he would have me learn well how to sharpen 
my tools. That was sharp on his part, but I 
myself should have been a poor tool if I could not 
sharpen my instrument." 

The earliest letter to him from his father that 
has been preserved is dated Mentone, December 
5th. It has been twelve times folded and evidently 
carried for a long time in the boy's pocket. 

'' My dear Son Tom," it says, " I hope the 
engraving business is becoming an easy matter 
with you. God bless you, my boy, and prosper 
you for this life : but yet more for the life to come. 
Work as steadily in both spheres of service ; to 


neglect either would be like tying up one of your 
hands or one of your feet. God is glorified in the 
shop and in the pulpit. May you see good results 
in both directions ! I pray for you in relation to 
the two. I hope Bolingbroke does not get empty 
through the cold and wet. I must help you there. 
Eass your dear mother, and try and tell her how 
dear she is to us all three. Our angel and delight, 
is she not ? With much love, 

'' Your affectionate father, 

'' C. H. S." 



But another way was opening than either father 
or son intended. The first inkhng of it is to be 
found in the next letter from father to son that 
has been preserved. It was written from Mentone 
on a Monday, but is undated, save only that the 
year 1877 is added in the son's writing. There are 
things in it that need not be quoted : the pregnant 
paragraphs are as follows : 

" My dear Son Tom, 

" I am very sorry that you are feeling so 
weak, and as your dear Mother thinks a voyage 
would do you good I cannot but yield to the wish. 
I am rather afraid that it will be too severe a 
remedy, but I shall not demur to its being tried. 
If it ends in your going in for the College course 
and coming into the ministry I shall not regret it ; 
indeed, I shall rejoice if you went round the world 
seven times if it ended so. 

" You will preach, I am sure, but without good 

training you cannot take the position which I want 

you to occupy. Theology is not to be learned in 

its amplitude and accuracy by one destined to be 

4 49 


a public instructor without going thoroughly into 
it, and mastering its terms and details. Perhaps 
a voyage may give tone to your system and pre- 
pare you for two years of steady application. 
Only may the Lord make you a great soul-winner, 
and I shall be more than content. 

" We meet some awful donkeys when travelling, 
but a lady at San Remo is beyond all others. She 
said she regretted that our Lord Jesus was a Jew. 
When asked if she would have preferred his being 
an Enghshman she replied, ' No, but you see it 
is such a pity that he was a Jew : it would have 
been far better if he had been a Christian like 
ourselves ' ! ! 

" Your loving father, 

" C. H. Spurgeon." 

Arrangements were made for him to sail with 
Captain Jenkins, a Christian seaman, in the three- 
masted schooner Lady Jocelyn. He was accom- 
panied by the son of the artist to whom he had 
been apprenticed, and the two " Toms " set out 
on their voyage on Friday, June 15th, 1877. His 
father had warned him that " life on a ship was 
like going to prison, with the added chance of 
being drowned," but he seems to have taken the 
risk gaily. Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon happily preserved 
the frequent and lengthy letters her son sent 
home ; sometimes it is the boy who speaks and 
sometimes the man, always the son. This should 
be remembered when the following extracts are 

" Speaking to the steward we found the pilot 


would leave us to-night and then we should be 
left indeed, so ' what thou doest do quickly ' 
floated across my mind. The next moment a pen 
was seized, and here I am writing. The Black 
Prince has us in tow and the ripple of three small 
boats astern makes splash-dash music. 

" Captain Jenkins has just come alongside me 
and wants to be kindly remembered to Ma and 
Pa. ' Would she like the portrait of the ship ? ' 
was readily answered in the affirmative, and here 
it is with her husband (the Captain) and the 
facetious remark that a ship is in love when at- 
tached to a buoy. 

" We have, I think, sixteen sheep and any 
quantity of fowls and ducks. Poor things, they 
have close quarters indeed. It will be kindness to 
eat some of them to give the others more room. 

'* Loneliness has scarcely troubled me yet. A 
kind of wonderment and a restful trust in God is 
what I feel. 

" Saturday morning. — Our doctor is a very young 
man on his first voyage, so I am going to be ready 
to doctor him. A lady last evening mistook me 
for this important individual and gave me quite a 
lecture as to my duties in attending to her. As 
I told you the Captain introduced me to her by 
saying I would look after her, I was not surprised 
at first when she spoke of my responsibilities, but 
when she said that of course I should be wanted 
day and night, and so on, I opened her eyes and 
my mouth by telling her I was not the doctor. 


She seemed rather bewildered, and apologized for 
the mistake. 

^''Saturday afternoon, June IQth, 77. — My greatest 
friend as yet is Mr. Keen of Croydon. I believe 
him to be a Christian man, and doubt not I shall 
get on with him swimmingly. He asked me this 
morning about services on board. I told him I 
hoped to have the opportunity of speaking, at 
which he greatly rejoiced, being especially glad 
to hear that the Captain was a godly man. It 
seems that since that he has spoken to the Cap- 
tain about it, and he in turn has spoken to me. 
He said that he would leave the matter entirely 
in my hands. He would not think of reading 
prayers — * Just do it in your own way,' was the 
advice he gave me, 'and we shall be very pleased.' 
What a chance to serve the Master ! What a 
responsibility in so doing ! Oh, that He may 
even guide me in this also, and give me acceptable 
words, and then help me to practise what I preach ! 
I have made up my mind, God helping me, not 
to be discouraged at the result of the first meeting, 
whatever it may be." 

The next morning at half-past six off Portland 
Bill, he writes to his brother, sending loving mes- 
sages to him and to the little meeting in which 
they were both so deeply interested. *' I have 
been thinking of the verse : 

All scenes alike engaging prove 
To souls impressed with sacred love; 
Where'er they dwell they dwell in Thee, 
In heaven, in earth, or on the sea ; 


and glad indeed it makes me to know that the 
place where men ought to worship is here and 
there and everywhere. God bless the Mission 
Room is my constant prayer. Seek God as your 
helper. Remember He is the Great and Good 
Shepherd and you are co- or sub-pastor. Give 
my Christian love to all of the people. I hope 
they'll like their new House and send many a 
prayer from it to the old ship. 

" Good-bye, dear home and country ! Farewell, 
sweet mother and loving friends ! I cannot help 
tears just now : still, I think they are tears of joy 
as well as of sadness, an eye full of each, for God 
is good and always will be." 

On Tuesday evening June 19th, 1877, another 
letter was written to his mother in which he says 
that owing to lack of wind they were still in sight 
of Land's End. " Sunday was a glorious day. I 
was up before five endeavouring to get a sermon, 
and the whole day was anxious because we were 
unable to have the service till seven o'clock. 
Tom and myself are the only dissenters on board, 
but the Captain would have none of the Church 
service. The ladies willingly consented to help 
in the singing, and altogether it passed off pretty 
well. I shall feel more at home shortly." 

It is a simple, wholesome, modest, unspoiled 
personality that is revealed in these letters, but 
withal a person sure of himself, and fixed in his 


purpose, looking out on life unafraid, with a 
conscious sense of God's presence. The next 
letter, written during the voyage, consists of no 
less than twentj'-two four-page sheets, eighty- 
eight pages in all — something like a letter that, 
to come into a mother's hand. It was commenced 
on August 13th, finished on September 1st, is 
addressed to " My dear Parents," and at the head 
of the first sheet there is an index of nine topics — 
" I have done this so that you can begin where 
you think you will be most interested," he writes. 
Perhaps the reader will think it was an Index of 
the Coming Man. There is of course only space 
here for a few descriptive sentences. 

" I have at no time been at a loss for anything 
to do, and the monotony of life on board certainly 
does not equal that of hurrying to the city in the 
morning to peck all day, and returning weary 
night after night." 

He records with thankfulness that he has not 
been sea-sick at all : "I was looked upon with 
wonder, sometimes with envy, while day after 
day morning querists would ask me if I still felt 
quite the thing. Unable to say what the length 
of the voyage may be, I can only say that I have 
no desire for its completion." Several pages are 
given to a realistic description of his fellow-pas- 
sengers ; then there comes an inventory of his own 

*' Cabin No. 5 for some time had a notice over 
the door which bore in red letters the announce- 
ment that it was engaged by Mr. T. Spurgeon and 
friend. Mr. T. Spurgeon and friend were not 


sorry to fulfil their part of the engagement, but 
soon found that, the space being somewhat limited, 
it was rather too much of a full fill. It was there- 
fore in a most friendly way that I parted with my 
friend's company on the fourth night, he removing 
to the next apartment, the two being connected 
by a door. 

" Of course it was something to do to set my 
room in order, for as it stood it looked anything 
but inviting. My first attempts at house -furnish- 
ing have been remarkably successful. This is 
owing possibly to the facts that the house was 
not extensive and that there has been plenty of 
time for alterations and improvements. These 
have been effected from time to time as weather 
or inclination suggested. No. 5 Starboard Street 
is next door to the residence of Captain Jenkins, 
whose high reputation among Australian travellers 
is so well-known. Thus the neighbourhood is 
aristocratic. This charming sea-side residence is 
delightfully situated on the edge of the ladies' 
boudoir, and has in consequence a curtained 
entrance. Somebody, too, seems to have said to 
the carpet, ' Thus far but no farther shalt thou go.' 
Walking in I find my apartment can boast two 
posts, two doors, two bunks," and so it goes on 
for two pages more, followed by an equally admir- 
able description of the saloon. The playful tone 
is evidence of renewed health. 

Quite clever accounts of the wonders of the ocean 
follow on page after page. Note this — " Now and 
then the rainbow arched itself completely, and 
gazing at it we suddenly became impressed with 


the necessity of preparing for the worst. Soon 
the rain reached us, and, as we stood on the com- 
panion ladder, we looked westward to see the sun 
for a few minutes only tinging the rain-smitten 
waters with a marvellous green. I never saw so 
magical an effect. The ocean for a time stood 
dressed in living green, and it required no stretch 
of imagination to fancy that we were speeding 
past fertile meadows. How it made us long to go 
for a walk ! " Here is surely both the eye and 
the touch of the artist. 

" Father will be glad to hear," he writes, " that 
the promise I gave respecting theological works was 
by no means forgotten. You too will be pleased 
to learn that shorthand received due attention." 
In fact they had a shorthand class on deck every 
morning. " Nor have I been idle in the Art 
department. I scarcely know how many charts 
I drew. I also produced two pictures. . . . Be- 
sides these I began a block of the Lady Jocelyn, 
but bad weather prevented its completion." 

Each Sunday of the voyage Mr. Spurgeon 
preached. On the third Sunday out, which was 
spent in the Tropics, he determined to have two 
services. Sunday, July 15th, is recorded as the 
happiest Sabbath spent on board. " Both meet- 
ings were better attended than ever, and in the 
evening there were nearly sixty persons present. 
When you remember that there were so many 
Roman Catholics, a band of men on the watch, 
and those who preferred sleep to service, besides 
several absentees through sickness, you will see 
that this was a most encouraging audience. I 


bless the Lord for inclining them to come, for 
making them so wonderfully attentive, and for 
aiding me in speaking. I spent nearly the whole 
day in making sure of my sermons, for I preach 
without notes, one reason being that at night we 
are obliged to turn the lights down on account of 
the heat." 

" July 29th was about our roughest Sunday. 
With little wind to steady the ship the rolling was 
very considerable and very inconvenient. Especi- 
ally so during service, for it was difficult for some 
to retain their seats and for me to retain my post. 
It was not easy either to sustain the thread of the 
discourse, for swinging trays and an audience 
' moved ' in anything but a desirable way are not 
conducive to retention of ideas or expression of 
thoughts. That evening our largest congregation 
met, and best of all the Lord was there. 

" I did what I could to follow up remarks in 
sermon in conversation afterwards, only regretting 
that I found myself less fitted to speak with one 
or two." This paragraph I note with interest, for 
years ago in Scotland his father, in an intimate 
talk, made exactly the same confession. Is there 
heredity in such things ? 

On August 28th the voyage ended. 

Only a parent's heart can know with what 
eagerness the news of the arrival of the ship 
bearing such a precious cargo was awaited at 
Nightingale Lane, but something of it may be 
guessed by the fact that the following letter was 
written only two days after the passengers landed 
at Melbourne. It is under such circumstances 


that the blessings of telegraphy can be truly under- 

August ZOih, 1877. 

" Mine own dear Son, 

" We have all been delighted to hear of the 
arrival of the Lady J. at Melbourne, for we hope 
that it means that our Tom is all right. By this 
time you will have had enough sea, and when this 
reaches you I hope you will have found that ' the 
barbarous people have showed you no little kind- 

" I have had a very loving and pressing invitation 
to come out, but how can I leave home ? I shall 
have to write and decline for I am anchored here 
too fast, but I feel very grateful for the loving 
invitation and wish that I could accept it. 

" Give them the Gospel. Study all you can, 
preach boldly and let your behaviour be with great 
discretion, as indeed I am sure it will be. 

" You will be a man ere this reaches you : may 
the Lord give you full spiritual manhood. We 
shall try to keep your birthday and Charlie's, 
and I must invest something great in the way 
of presents for your majority. This must be 
placed round the neck of the fatted calf when 
you return. 

*' Char is to come into the College in September. 
He will have a little start of his brother : but he 
managed that at an early period, and I suppose 
you must put up with it. The Bolingbroke Chapel 
is paid for and will be a blessing, I hope. The 
people want their co-pastor back, and so do I. 


" You will, I trust, find the Lord open up ways 
and means for you to see the country and do good 
and get good. I am all right : full of work and 
in pretty good force for doing it. The Lord bless 
thee, my son, and keep thee, and be ever thy guide. 
Live to Him, and you will be better than great. 
Thy father's blessing rests upon thee. 

" Your ever loving Father, 

" C. H. Spurgeon." 

Later, his father remarked in view of his son's 
ministry on board this ship : " Evidently God was 
teaching his youthful hands to war, and his fingers 
to fight, in anticipation of future battles. Three 
months' preaching to the same audience amid the 
rolling of the sea is an admirable preparation for 
addressing crowds on shore." 

Evidently his son agreed with this opinion, for 
in his preface to his volume Down to the Sea he says : 

" I have always loved the sea. Ships and sailors 
have had a wonderful charm for me ever since I sailed 
my boat on the Clapham Long Pond and read 
Mr. Kingston's stories of adventure. I may as 
well confess that there was a time when I cherished 
a secret longing for a life on the ocean wave. 
When in 1877, under doctor's orders, I voyaged 
to the Antipodes, I eagerly hailed the opportunity 
for actual acquaintance with the sea and its sons. 
A godly captain and a steady crew, agreeable 
passengers and a happy combination of weather 
— good, bad, and indifferent — provided for me a 
most interesting and instructive trip. I tried to 
keep my eyes and ears open, and to act on Captain 


Cuttle's advice — ' When found, make a note of.' 
I little guessed at the time to what good use 
nautical knowledge might be put. Not the least 
of my joys on board the good ship Lady Jocelyn 
was the preaching of the Word. In saloon and 
fo'csle I was privileged to tell the story of the Cross. 
I soon got to know the seamen well, and to admire 
much in them. They were very good to their 
' sky pilot.' Since then I have had an increasing 
interest in seafaring men. ... I confess to a 
weakness to pictures. I ploughed the boxwood 
with my graver before I ploughed the seas in a 
ship. If woodcuts seem to detract from the 
dignity of a volume of sermons, what matters it 
if they add to its usefulness ? 

" How well I remember when I set sail for the 
other side of the world. I was somewhat of a 
novice myself as to seafaring matters, but X was 
nevertheless not a little surprised when one more 
ignorant than I came to me as we were abreast 
of the Lizard. The sun was setting, and we were 
taking our last view of dear old England. Looking 
up to the spread of canvas my fellow-passenger 
exclaimed, ' I suppose they will take the sails 
down presently ? ' I said, ' Do you mean that 
they will furl them ? ' For I was determined to 
let him see that I knew a little of nautical terms 
even then. ' Yes,' he said, ' I suppose they will 
take them down by-and-bye.' ' But,' I said, 
' why ? ' * Well,' he answered, ' the sun is setting ; 
it will be dark soon.' ' My good fellow,' I replied, 
' we shall take twelve weeks to get to Melbourne 
probably if we sail day and night, but what a 


voyage it will be if we sail only while the sun 
shines ! ' " 

To his mother, in a letter overflowing with 
affection, the son wrote words which must have 
set her heart singing. Remember, the sentences 
were meant for her eyes alone, and were written 
by her boy. " Tom thinks he has helped to serve 
his Master by a consistent life as well as by preach- 
ing, though he mourns his imperfections. I won't 
ask you to pray for me. You always do. Pray 
harder though. Just now I ask that I may be 
kept humble and near to Jesus." 



When Thomas Spurge on landed in Australia it 
was not with the idea of a preaching tour, but 
with the intention of continuing his work as an 
engraver. In bidding good-bye to Victoria he told 
the people that " when he got to Melbourne he 
had meant to set up in business if he did not return 
by the same ship. Like Paul he was not ashamed 
to earn his living with his hands. Wisely his father 
had given him a trade, and he would not object 
to drawing a sketch for their illustrated paper." 

But his father in giving him a letter of introduc- 
tion had added the words — " he can preach a bit," 
and the Australians were not slow to take the hint. 
From Geelong, where he first went, in an early 
letter to his father which reveals the spirit in 
which he started, he says : " Mr. Bunning is a 
right good fellow, so thoughtful and so kind. I 
did not intend preaching on my first Sunday ashore, 
but as I expected to be at Ballarat next Sabbath, 
I seized perhaps my only opportunity of helping 
our dear brother. We had a grand time; the 
beautiful chapel was crowded and God was in the 
place. Dear Father, I believe I have the way 
open to many hearts in this colony. I have seen 



them weep when I spoke. I suppose because of 
the recollections that are raised. God give the 
youthful mind prudence and discretion ! Mr. 
Bunning says he thinks there will always be 
manifested a leniency toward the young man as 
to criticism, and he has given me kind advice in 
various matters, telling me that from last Sunday's 
service he is sure I need not mind facing any 
audience. Confidence in God is the great thing, 
but I think a certain amount of self-confidence is 
also necessary." 

Many details of the visit are available in the 
letters which, covering a whole year, he wrote to 
his mother, most of them lengthy, five of them 
fifteen sheets long (that is sixty pages), and also 
in a scrap-book containing newspaper comments 
which he evidently kept with scrupulous care. 
Perhaps it may be as well to take the public 
appreciations first, and afterwards to turn to the 
intimate correspondence. 

His first sermon passed unnoticed, but the 
second drew forth the comment in The Ballarat 
Courier that *' the young gentleman had studied his 
subject well, and possessed qualifications which 
might make him in the future a finished and 
eloquent speaker." But The Stawell Chronicle 
the next week only said, " Mr. Spurgeon is earnest, 
and that earnestness makes him impressive, but 
he does not seem to possess any of those gifts 
which have raised his father to so high a position." 
However The Southern Cross the same week was 
a little more encouraging : " Young Spurgeon 
does not possess the fire and dash of his 'father, 


but he has much originality, humour and force.'* 
The Bendigo Advertiser ten days later : " Mr. 
Spurgeon is a very young man ; he possesses 
great confidence and good command of language, 
and earnestness," which The Bendigo Evening News 
echoes by saying, ** He may well be called the boy 
preacher ; still, he possesses great oratorical powers 
and not less confidence." One might almost 
hazard a suggestion that these two critiques came 
from the same pen. 

The East Charlton Tribune ten days later says 
something worthier : " While listening to the 
son one could detect in the grand conceptions 
and the clear and lucid manner in which the 
subject of the text was explained, the master hand 
of the father, and no doubt the thought was more 
than once expressed that day by a youthful listener, 
' Would I had such a father,' and by a fond parent, 
' Would I had such a son.' " 

The Methodist Journal of November 30th : 
" Crowds attend to hear him preach, and the im- 
pression produced is decidedly in his favour. He 
is quite at his ease in the presence of the largest 
assembly. He speaks deliberately, distinctly, with 
considerable force and animation, and his voice 
enables him to be heard in a capacious building. 
Mr. Spurgeon has made a good start (would that 
thousands of our young men would follow suit), 
and as years and experience are given him, we shall 
be surprised if the pardonable crudities of youth 
do not give place to the development of a vigorous 
style, a good intellectual grasp and a liberal measure 
of originality." 


A week later The Advertiser of Moonta says : 
" He has found himself welcomed for his father's 
sake and liked for his own." The Port Augusta 
Dispatch is pedantic enough to draw attention to 
his pronunciation of " Saviour," " before," and 
" fear," which it says he pronounced as " Saviah," 
" befoah," and " feah." The Beanpip (what a 
name for a newspaper !) of Gawler, early in January, 
1878, says, " His manner and delivery were very 
easy and graceful and his self-possession remarkable 
for one so young." The Methodist Journal gives 
him a leading article on January 18th. " He has 
his father's sincerity and earnestness, his simplicity 
of aim, and not a little of his humour and mother- 
wit. Though youthful he has the balance and 
control of an older man, and we are thankful that 
the son of Charles H. Spurgeon so becomes his noble 
father." The Launceston Examiner in April says, 
" Mr. Spurgeon is but a young man, but promises 
to make a powerful speaker." So the criticism runs. 

Wherever he went he had crowds : his sermons 
were often reported at considerable length, his 
platform speeches were amusing, and we find him 
now and again not only reciting such pieces as 
" The Leper," but actually singing in a duet. On 
his birthday, when he attained his majority, he 
was presented with a gold watch at Geelong, and 
on leaving South Australia in January for Tas- 
mania, a handsome Emu inkstand in frosted 
silver, which yet graces the home in London, was 
presented to him at Adelaide. " So for the father's 
sake the son was dear, and dearer was the father 
for the child." 


Now we turn to the letters. On September 22nd, 
1877, he describes the royal way his birthday was 
kept, and incidentally says that his railway 
travelling will not be very expensive, for by the 
good offices of a member of Parliament, with 
whom he was then staying, a free pass over the 
Victorian railways has been secured for him. 

" Some one told me last evening that I must 
give a glowing account of Sunday evening last, 
but I replied that I should do nothing of the kind, 
for I should have to weary you with a somewhat 
similar description of every Sabbath." 

" The Mission room is still near my heart, and 
great crowds here have not made me unmindful 
of that small assembly." 

" Yesterday I received an invitation to New 
Zealand. The writer urged many reasons, the 
most remarkable of which was worded thus : — 
' My father, I believe, married your grandparents — 
you owe something to his son ! ' " 

On October 6th, he writes from Quambatook, 
Victoria, and begins : " Have you noticed the 
remarkable address which heads this letter ? Father 
will remember that he once received £100, through 
Mr. Bunning, from a squatter. That individual 
was no less a person than Gideon Rutherford, Esq., 
on whose station we are now stopping. 

" We started with the object of preaching, to the 
shearers. Since September 20th shearing has 
been going on at Mr. Rutherford's station, and it 
is not yet completed. He scarcely knows himself 


within a few thousand how many will be shorn. 
The woolshed is close to the home station, and 
when first we visited it the morning after our arrival 
the men left off their work (although they are 
paid according to the number of sheep shorn), 
and came round us while one of their number in 
a few words welcomed Mr. Bunning and the 
Right Reverend Mr. Spurgeon to Quambatook. 

" I have such a deal to tell you about our pleasant 
week at Quambatook that I hardly know where 
to begin, and can't imagine when I shall finish," 
he says. On which it may be remarked that he 
spoke the literal truth, for he finished years after- 
wards by marrying Mr. Rutherford's daughter ! 
He does not mention her, however, but speaks of 
Mrs. Rutherford's baptism in the river Avoca, 
where he offered prayer before Mr. Bunning 
baptized her, and asks his mother to pray for 
" the children, that they may be converted." 
" We left with an invitation to come again and 
stop for six weeks or longer, and an intimation 
that Mr. R.'s house at some lakes near Geelong 
was entirely at our disposal." 

From Kerang he reports : " We left this place 
after having despatched a tin of sweets to Quam- 
batook addressed to ' the bairns who stole our 
hearts.' Quite a proper thing to do. 

*' Far from the streams of Father Thames, but 
near the Murray's banks, away from the hills of 
Surrey and traversing the plains of Victoria, 
removed from old friends but surrounded by new 
ones, your welcome letters take me back again, back 
o'er the leagues of ocean, back to a mother's side, 


to a father's blessing, back to the Mission work and 
its dear worker, back to the old house at home, 
back in imagination as I trust God will bring me 
really in His own good time." 

A letter begun at Adelaide on November 24th 
contains this passage — " one name seems common 
in the city, that of Day. Connected with the 
principal newspaper are three gentlemen bearing 
that name. They are thus distinguished. One 
of them preaches occasionally and is called Sun- 
day ; another attends to the financial department 
and is termed Pay-day ; while the third from his 
connection with the law courts goes by the appella-^ 
tion of Judgment-day. 

'' I met up at Kadina a man named Kemp from 
Waterbeach, who said, ' I've heard your great- 
grandfather, your grandfather and your father, 
and now I've heard you.' " 

" Sunday, December 16th, — I preached in the 
open air a few miles from Adelaide. The advertise- 
ment would have amused you. After the usual 
announcement of meeting came ' Moonlight,^ 
People drove in from considerable distances, and 
moonlight aided their return. We had a blessed 
season beneath a clear Australian sky, among the 
gum trees. 

" What rejoices me is that I am not labouring 
in vain. This will gladden you too. By God's 
blessing the Churches are profiting and souls are 
being saved. I have ever so many kind letters 


encouraging me, and though adverse criticism 
appears occasionally, it is usually in the Melbourne 
Argus or some other atheistical paper." 

The first letter in the year 1878 naturally has 
some paragraphs in the way of retrospect. On 
January 8th, writing to his mother, he says ; — 

*' Each day I am increasingly thankful that 
even the Lady Jocelyn had Thos. S. for a passenger. 
We saw God's hand in the matter before I left, 
but I for one had no idea that it would lead to such 
results. Little did I think that things would 
turn out so pleasantly, or that such opportunities 
would occur for serving the Master. 

" Father's characteristic remark to Mr. Bunning 
that ' he can preach a bit,' which by the way has 
gone the round of the papers, seems to have sug- 
gested to many that C. H. S. would be glad if they 
would get me to preach more, and as it certainly 
suited their interests, they have taken the hint 
and acted on it. 

" No one is more thankful that this is one 
result of my severance from home and friends, 
than I am. I wanted bringing out and wondered 
what would do it. Who would have thought 
twelve months ago that fifteen thousand miles of 
ocean had to be traversed first ? What a grand 
thing it is to have a God and guide — a Father to 
direct I " 

Visiting Lyndoch Valley he writes : " It was 
rather a novel spectacle on Saturday afternoon to 
see Mr. Morgan prepare to give his horses a drink 


of water. Very often he drives them down to 
a neighbouring creek, but sometimes, as on this 
occasion, he adopts a more expeditious though 
less economical plan. He opens the back door 
of the church, and as there is no vestry, he lifts 
a board that covers the Baptistery, and while 
the little one fetches a pail the horses are sum- 
moned and soon come trotting up. Charlie and 
Taby, and the little foal and the foal's mamma, 
are soon anxiously peering into the church and 
casting longing glances at the pool. But of course 
they must not enter and there they wait, all four 
contemplating with their heads poked through the 
narrow doorway. And when the bucket arrived 
they were each served in turn with the water that 
fell from heaven upon the roof, and was collected 
in the Baptistery. I could not help laughing at 
the novel scene — my only fear is that unless it 
rains soon there will be but little water for the 
ordinance, at all events unless the quadrupeds go 

" Perhaps this is a fitting opportunity to tell 
you how difficult I find it to prepare fresh sermons. 
I never see a commentary, and rarely get sufficient 
time to prepare as I like. On the other hand there 
is this to be said, that going about as I do I need 
not hesitate to redeliver sermons." 

Here is a heart-touch when acknowledging his 
mother's letter : " Dear Mother, it made me go all 
goose's flesh to see you sign yourself ' your very 
own, happy, contented and supremely thankful 
mother.' Am I not a goose ? " 

Writing from Melbourne on January 22nd, 


1878, to " My very dear Father," he says — " How 
generous of you to think of placing my name and 
Charhe's alongside yours as preachers of the Gospel. 
If I can have but a portion of my father's mantle 
I might be well content. I feel the honour of 
serving Jesus more and more, and pray for that 
full consecration and that consuming zeal which 
God has helped you to." 

This was evidently in response to a letter which 
his father had written to him on November 23rd, 
1877, in which occur the following passages. 

" My dear Son Tom, 

" I have been greatly delighted with your 
letters and they have caused great joy all round ; 
especially has your own dear mother been much 
cheered and comforted. Write all you can for 
her sake — though we all share the pleasure. 

" God has been very gracious to you in opening 
so many hearts and ears to you. May His grace 
abide with you that these golden opportunities 
may all be used to the best possible result. I am 
overwhelmed with your reception, accepting 
it as a token of the acceptance which my works 
have among the people. When I have you and 
Char at my side to preach the same great truths 
we shall by God's grace make England know more 
of the Gospel's power. 

" Char is working well at College and will, I 
trust, come forth thoroughly furnished. When you 
come home I hope that your practice in Australia 
will lessen your need of college training so that 
one year may suffice. Still every man regrets 


when in the field that he did not prepare better 
before he entered it. We shall see. 

" I hope you will stay while your welcome is 
warm, and while you are getting and doing good, 
and then come home a free man in all respects, 
free I mean from all entanglements, and buckle 
down to the work of the ministry here. 

" Receive your father's best love and think lots 
of this letter, for I am so pressed for time that 
it means a good deal more than appears upon the 
paper. May our God bless you more and more 
and use you in His Kingdom to the utmost possible 
degree ! 

" Your loving Father, 

"C. H. Spurgeon." 

The son is, as yet, free from " entanglements," 
but unconsciously he is preparing the way for a 
later date. His next letter, January 29th, 1878, 
describes a visit from Geelong to the picturesque 
Lake Como, Mr. Rutherford's residence, and 
after praising its beauty he says : " But even if 
the place were only half as inviting I should be 
happy there, for I am once again amongst my best 
friends. Just as kind and hearty as they were 
upon the plains of Quambatook, just as hospitable 
and friendly as when amongst the haunts of emu 
and of kangaroo. I need not speak their praises, 
for 'twould puzzle me to convey in words any 
adequate idea of their sterling worth." 

An incident occurred about this time to which 
he afterwards referred in his Tabernacle ministry 
as an example of the joy which may accrue from 


the discipline of sorrow. His letter home on 
February 7th, 1878, makes guarded allusion to it. 
Here is the extract from the later sermon : — 

" I have never told in public, scarce ever in 
private, of a great sorrow that afflicted me once 
when I was first in Australia. Whether it was 
the tongue of slander in the old land, or some mis- 
information or mistake, I do not know, but there 
came to my dear father's ears a story which did 
not reflect credit upon his absent son. It came in 
such a form that he was almost bound to believe 
it. I remember the grief that tore my heart when 
I received a letter from him, chiding me, kindly 
chiding me, for this supposed wrong-doing. I 
knew, before God, that I was innocent ; but, 
despite that conviction, there was some pain, of 
course, and there had to be a delay of many 
months ere my contradiction of the damaging 
tale could reach him. I left the matter with God, 
and He espoused my cause. In a few days' time 
I received a cablegram — and telegraphing was 
expensive in those days — which read thus : ' Dis- 
regard my letter ; was misinformed.' I cannot 
tell you the thrill of joy that filled my heart to 
feel that I was restored to my father's approbation 
and confidence. I will not say to his lo\e, for I 
had surely never fallen from that. It was many 
months ere I could come into possession of parti- 
culars, but to know that he had found out his 
mistake and that confidence was restored, why, 
it was almost worth while having been in the 
sorrow to experience the delicious thrill " 


Writing a week later he says : "I can but 
repeat the words I wrote to you, ' 'Tis welcome 
trouble if it drive me close to Him.' How earnestly 
did I pray that God would point out the mistake, 
and before I cried He heard, for I did not know 
of it till February 5th, and Father telegraphed 
February 2nd." 

In the letters which follow he gives realistic 
descriptions of a fair at Ballarat, a feast to the 
Governor of the Colony at which he was present, 
his journey to Tasmania, boating on the river at 
Native Point, Perth, inspections of the cattle and 
sheep, and his acquaintance with his fellow-guest, 
Mr. Henry Varley, at Mr. Gibson's hospitable home. 
Of him he says, in spite of some prepossession 
to the contrary, "he is a companion of a very 
pleasant and sanctified sort and really he has done 
me good." In a later letter speaking of his im- 
proved health, he says, " When I see Mr. Varley 
preaching every day, I almost wish I could do the 
same, and thus devote my life. Perhaps the time 
will come when this shall be my proper course 
(evangelizing), and if these quiet months' spell be 
the preparation for it, who shall call it wasted 

" Most grateful am I to father for his loving 
words. Really it is worth all the sadness of being 
so far away to have such sweet loving counsel from 
him, and the thought that a recital of my experi- 
ences gives him pleasure makes me happy in the 
extreme. Tell him, please, that as to ' starring ' 
my one desire is to ' turn many to righteousness,' 
that I may ' shine as the stars for ever and ever,' " 


In a letter begun at Hobarton on May 27th 
occurs this paragraph : "I have to-day discovered 
in The Hobarton Mercury a reprint of dear father's 
letter to the Albert Street Church, in the Postscript 
of which he says, ' Love my son Tom if he comes 
your way.' When I read it I was shivering on 
board a river steamer, and it warmed the cockles 
of my heart and no mistake. I think my dear 
parents vie with each other in the art of letter- 
writing and skill in correspondence. What a happy 
fellow I should be to have such correspondents ! " 

On June 23rd, 1878, he writes from Melbourne 
recounting news of blessing in several places of 
which he has heard, and adds : " There again I 
have to rejoice in the good that God has wrought 
in the homes I have visited. God blessed the 
house of Obededom because His ark was there, and 
I verily believe that my kind friends have had 
their reward for entertaining His little servant." 

The fifty-five page letter begun at Sydney on 
July 11th is specially interesting. He tells that 
on seeking to book his passage to Brisbane the 
clerk, after stating the fare, said, " You ought to 
wear a white tie," and when asked the reason told 
him that clergymen were entitled to reduced rates. 
After some argument the clerk asked if he were 
willing to sign his name as " Reverend." This 
evidently was the first time he had practically 
faced the question, and when he answered that 
he would do it if it came cheaper, there was still 
debate in the office until some one declared that 
he had journeyed a considerable distance the 
evening before to hear Mr Spurgeon, and had been 


crowded out. " This was proof pretty positive 
that I did preach, and it was decided to carry 
the important matter to the manager for settle- 
ment. He pronounced in my favour, and from 
this day forth, and even for evermore, a man can 
be a minister in the eyes of the A.S.N.Co. without 
wearing a white tie. Marvel, O Earth, and be 
astonished, O Sea ! " This seems to be all the 
ordination ever given to him. 

" Hearty grasps welcomed me to Queensland 
when we got alongside the quay. They seemed to 
say, as plain as pressure can speak, ' We're very 
glad to see your father's son. Selah.' 

" Have you noticed the native names for places ? 
They are far better than the English barbarisms 
that are so common. For my part with the author 
of the following verse : 

" I like the native names as Farramatta 
And Illawarra and WooUoomooloo, 
Mandoura, Woogarora, Bulkomatta, 
Tomah, Toongabbee, Mittagong, Meroo ; 
Buckobbla, Cumleroy and Coolingatta, 
The Warragumby, Bogielong, Emu, 
Cookbundoon, Carrabaija, Wingycaribbee, 
The Woblondilly, Yurumbon, Bungaribbee." 

While writing this letter he had received and 
has treasured a letter from his father dated June 5th, 
1878, in which occur the following paragraphs : 

" Your letters give us all great delight, and the 
readers of The Sword and Trowel enthusiastically 
praise the delicious dishes which your dear mother 
prepares from your capital material. Keep on 
excelling where your father fails. 


'* If only you were here a look at my Australian 
son would make a day's delight. Everj^^body 
seems interested in your goings on. How rejoiced 
I am I am quite unable to tell you. I would give 
all glory to God, but I may also praise you for the 
excellent manner in which you have conducted 
yourself on all occasions, out of the pulpit as well 
as in it. Go on, dear son, as you have done, and 
my heart will have to bless the Lord daily at every 
remembrance of you. 

" I shall be glad soon to see you home, but still 
I should like you to see New Zealand. Mr. Sands 
thinks you would be a suitable successor to Dr. 
Culross, who is leaving Highbury, but the time 
which must intervene will, I think, render that 
of no avail. We will leave such engagements till 
your course can be more clearly foreseen. 

" We want zealous, cultured, sound ministers, 
and when one of these can be met with several 
churches will be after him. May our Lord clothe 
you with so much power that you may be very 
valiant in Israel I 

" Dear son, your love is very sweet to me. God 
keep you ever and bring you back to 

" Your loving father 
" Who again blesses you in the name of the Lord, 

'' C. H. Spurgeon." 

To this the son responds : " How I value dear 
Father's letter words fail to tell. Bless him ! a 
thousand times. Every word is a treasure indeed. 
A few minutes devoted from his precious time has 
«<caused his wandering son hours of rare delight. 


Foremost amongst my happiness is the joy of 
knowing that he is delighted. To be able to add 
a ray of sunshine to his noble life is — well — I was 
going to say well worth living for, and having 
said it I'll stick to it, for I mean it most assuredly. 

" I was mightily amused at the reason of Mr. 
Sands' visit. I wonder somewhat that so prudent 
a man should cherish such an idea — but there, 
we have known Mr. Sands making mistakes before. 
Whatever other folks may fancy, Thos. S. feels 
himself very incompetent for any such under- 
taking, but nevertheless he feels confident that 
the Potter will shape the vessel for the particular 
service in which He chooses to employ it, whatever 
that may be." 

In the letter begun at Brisbane on August 16th 
he says : " Who would have expected to see George 
Coulson, our old coachman, his wife and family, 
at Ipswich ? O how pleased they were to be sure. 
Such delight! Talk. Talk. The very sight of 
him stirred up old memories, and in course of 
conversation forgotten incidents came fresh to 
mind. Coulson told me several times that he was 
surprised 1 was the one to be preaching and 
travelling, and was incessant in enquiries after 
Master Charles. I told him that it was evident 
I had turned out better than he anticipated, and 
in admitting that he explained that the reason why 
he expected my brother to be such a prodigy was 
because ' there was always such a deal of mischief 
in Master Charles.' " 

The next letter, begun on August 16th, is the 
last of the series of home letters which lovingly 


preserved are lengthy enough to fill this volume. 
It carries him on to Warwick, August 26th, and 
suddenly breaks off, " But a few hours after 
writing the foregoing, I received the dismal news 
that Mother was worse. Oh ! may my gracious God 
spare her till I return. I give up all engagements 
except to-night (when may the Lord assist) and 
hope to be home the second or third week in 
October. I am trying to cast all my care on Him, 
for I am His care." 

The dismal news was contained in a cable 
message, "Mother's worse, return." The next 
morning he started for home, preaching at Brisbane 
and Melbourne on the way. At a farewell meeting 
on September 12th, at Melbourne, he was presented 
with a silver epergne and a sum of money. " One 
of the happiest experiences of that week was a 
chat with dear Mr. Rutherford, who came down 
from Quambatook although very busy." 

Writing on October 13th, from Aden, whither 
he had come on his homeward voyage, he says, 
" I had expected to be home by now, for as soon 
as I received the recalling telegram I hastened 
down to Brisbane, but missed the mail steamer 
by about ten minutes, nor could I possibly over- 
take her. By my telegram you understood, I 
trust, that the Lusitania is bearing me across the 
water. She is considered a very fast boat, but 
we have been singularly unfortunate. From Mel- 
bourne to Adelaide we experienced really dreadful 
weather. An evening congregation at Adelaide 
on Sunday, August 15th, were disappointed, for 
we did not arrive till late that night, but I addressed 


crowded churches on Monday and Tuesday. 
Leaving Adelaide we found the weather not in the 
least abated — boisterous to the last degree. 

" Sometimes I half expect you to be pretty well 
the day that ' Tommy comes marching home,' 
and then oh, joy! the vision brightens, but my 
dreams are not all so bright, as you can well 
imagine. These have been dreary weeks indeed ! 
Once only have I preached, the other Sundays have 
been too hot or too rough." 

In several of the later letters he speaks of him- 
self as his mother's " sea-gull." That reference is 
explained, and the story of the Australian visit 
well ended, by an extract from a sermon preached 
some time afterwards : 

" Some time before I left the other side of the 
world, where God has called me to preach this 
same gospel, I received from home a very beautiful 
Christmas-card, which I greatly prize, partly be- 
cause it is most artistic in itself, but more because 
of the good mother who sent it to me. Across 
a troubled sea, angry and storm-tossed, a sea-gull 
flies with its snowy wings outspread above the 
dark waters, its whiteness standing in striking 
contrast to the gloomy clouds, while just above 
the picture are these words : ' I would take thee 
home to my heart, but thou wilt not come to me.' 
I am not ashamed to confess that, when I read the 
inscription, the tears started to my eyes, and I 
said to myself, ' O mother mine, how gladly would 
I come to thee if I only could ! ' But on my voyage 
home — for the way soon after opened for me to 


return — I occupied some of my leisure moments 
in making as exact a copy of this picture as I could. 
The same white sea-bird, the same angry waves, 
the same dark clouds ; but I did not put the same 
words above them. I sent the sketch on from 
Naples, so that it might arrive before me some 
four or five days, and this was the message that 
it brought : ' I am coming home to thy heart ! 
Wilt thou not welcome me ? ' The answer I 
received at ten o'clock one Thursday night, when 
mother's arms were round her son and mother's 
kiss was on his lips. 

" O God, how often hast Thou said to the 
prodigal, ' I would take thee home to My heart, 
but thou wilt not come to Me.' Oh, help him now, 
as Thy Spirit only can, to say believingly, ' I am 
coming home to Thy heart ! Wilt Thou not 
welcome me?' Oh, that Thou wilt I So let it 
be for Thy mercy's sake. Amen." 



On Sunday, November 10th, 1878, Thomas 
Spurgeon was suddenly called to preach in the 
Tabernacle m his father's place. Until late on 
Saturday C. H. Spurgeon had hoped himself to 
take the services, especially as he had asked his 
usual congregation to vacate their places in the 
evening in favour of strangers, a practice observed 
for some time once a quarter during his later 
ministry. There was scarcely any other choice 
but that " Son Tom " must step into the breach, 
and with courage and modesty he accepted the 
task, commending himself so greatly to the people 
that he was invited for the following Sunday, and 
for one of the services the Sunday after. His 
brother Charles took the other service on the third 

The record in The Sword and Trowel is tantalizing 
in its brevity : " During the pastor's illness the 
pulpit of the Tabernacle has been five times 
occupied by Mr. Thomas Spurgeon and once by 
Mr. Charles ; and it has been a delight of no ordinary 
kind for both of the sick parents to hear on all 
hands the highly favourable judgments of God's 
people as to the present usefulness and ultimate 



eminence of their sons. Applications for the 
services of Messrs. C. and T. Spurgeon are becoming 
so numerous that it is needful to prepare the 
writers' minds for a refusal. For some time to 
come they would prefer to lend their father all 
the assistance he may require. Godly parents 
should be encouraged by our experience to pray 
for and expect the salvation of their offspring." 

His father recovered sufficiently to preach once 
in December, and in the middle of January he 
journeyed to his favourite resting-place in the 
South of France — Mentone, taking his son Thomas 
with him. After such long and distant travels it 
is scarcely surprising that the son was not very 
eager to leave home so soon again, even though 
it was in the company of the father to whom he 
was so deeply attached. In fact he was still his 
mother's boy. But the advantage to himself 
when his father suggested that he would guide 
his studies while they were away, as well as the 
hope of rendering some help to the invalid, at 
length prevailed. His letters to his mother during 
the three months he was abroad have been preserved, 
and in the fourth volume of his father's biography 
edited by his mother, he himself gives an account 
of the visit. 

Mentone, with its two bays, of all the places in 
the French Riviera was the chosen retreat during 
the last quarter of the nineteenth century of those 
who sought winter sunshine apart from the gaieties 
of fashion. Dr. Bennet — whose beautiful garden, 
" a veritable paradise on the side of a rocky steep," 
is one of the sights of the place — was the first to 


draw public attention to the charms of this part 
of the coast, and Mr. Spurgeon shared with him 
in promoting its fame. Indeed, he had hoped to 
issue a descriptive volume on Mentone and its 
neighbourhood, many of the chapters having 
been published in The Sword and Trowel in his 
later years. With Cap Martin on the west, the 
Italian frontier on the east, the Berceau behind, 
Corsica visible on fine mornings and evenings across 
the tideless blue sea, and numberless excursions 
possible up the valleys running inland, it is an ideal 
place for an extended sojourn. Year after year 
Mr. Spurgeon came thither. John Richard Green, 
the historian, died here, " still learning," as the 
inscription on his tomb tells us. Here were 
discovered in a sea-cave the skeletons of some 
pre-historic men, which I was fortunate enough to 
see shortly after they were found in 1893. Here 
too, in 1892, Spurgeon died. 

The books appointed for the young student at 
Mentone seem chiefly to have been a French 
History, a Primer on Political Economy, Carlyle's 
French Revolution, which his father read to him, 
as for long he was accustomed to read it year by 
year for his own pleasure, and Hodge's Outlines 
of Theology, In the evening Thomas would read 
to the company Ingoldshy Legends. A curious 
medley, but probably quite effective for the end 
in view. The son reports, "The driest matter 
bursts into a blaze when C. H. S. puts some of his 
fire to it." 

He had the privilege of meeting three notable 
men — Hudson Taylor, George Miiller, and Pastor 


John Bost of the Hospitals of La Force. Each 
of them contributed something to the mind all 
eager for impressions. At a communion service 
George Miiller prayed for "the dear son in Aus- 
tralia," on which there comes the remark, " I had 
great pleasure in informing him that I was the son 
in Australia, and oh ! how warmly did he grasp 
my hand — ^the dear old man. Little did we dream 
then that, nine years after, he would help to marry 
me in New Zealand." 

Quite a number of sketches were made by him 
during this visit, most of which have been repro- 
duced and published. Mr. Spurgeon, as was his 
wont, conducted family prayers in his own room 
morning by morning, and the Presbyterian service 
then held in Mrs. Dudgeon's villa was taken several 
times by the younger preacher. During a later 
visit Mr. C. H. Spurgeon opened the pretty church 
where Rev. L. E. Somerville has ministered year 
by year ever since. I saw him as he passed through 
London the other week, and he reports that in this 
war year he has had a busier winter than ever. 

There was also the constant study of nature — 
trees and flowers and trap-door spiders. The 
Carnival afforded great amusement. An invitation 
came from America. " Sometimes Father says it 
would be well to accept, and again that he would 
like me soon to be settling down at home. When 
he asked me if I would like to go, I told him the 
simple truth that I should be very sorry to have 
to return home again as from Australia." 

In April they were home again, and when father 
and son appeared together in the Tabernacle pulpit 


on the thirteenth of that month, the congregation, 
glad to greet them both, spontaneously rose and 
sang the doxology. 

A little while after that I saw him for the first 
time. I was in the College with his brother, and 
through the failure of the health of A. J. Clarke, 
a call came for a helper to join Manton Smith at 
Bacup. Mr. Spurgeon asked me to go, and sent 
the note by the hand of Son Tom. Already I 
had spoken night after night during the February 
services in the Tabernacle, and now I was to be 
launched on my life work. I am glad it was from 
the hand of T. S. that I got my marching orders. 
Perhaps I may be allowed to mention here that 
my first sermon in England was, without any 
arrangement of my own, preached at Teversham 
on the spot where C. H. Spurgeon preached his 
first sermon. It was on Easter Sunday evening, 
1875, when I was visiting at the home of my friend 
Rev. J. W. Campbell, whose father was then 
minister of Zion Chapel, and the last time I visited 
Cambridge two persons were present who remem- 
bered both the occasion and the sermon ! 

During that year Thomas Spurgeon also entered 
the College, and it is reported that he showed 
aptitude in his studies. On the first Friday his 
father lectured he saw the new student at the back 
of the hall, and said he would like to see him at 
the front ; on which he was by acclamation elected 
as an " Apostle," as the twelve men on the front 
bench were named. He made the thirteenth that 
year. At once he came to the top bench, and as 
he sat down beside Charles he scored a round of ap- 


plause by saying that he would rather be beside his 
brother than beside himself. Dr. McCaig says : " At 
the Front has been his place ever since : his gifts 
have made way for him ; he was never a shirker. 
Sitting with him in the Greek classes I know how 
faithfully he did his work." But ill-health often 
interrupted his attendance, and ere the year was 
out it became evident that he must seek his further 
training where he had received his earliest — under 
the sunny Australian skies. 

So on Thursday, October 2nd, 1879, he sailed 
on the Sobraon, having as his companions two of 
the College men, J. S. Harrison and R. McCuUough. 
He had seen and admired the ship at Melbourne, 
little expecting that he would sail in her before 

His father saw him off and then came to the 
Tabernacle for the week-night service, which in 
his time was a high festival. I sat behind him 
on the platform that evening, and remember the 
sermon he preached from the text, " Hannah 
answered and said, ' No, my lord, I am a woman 
of a sorrowful spirit.' " He preached, as he ever 
did, out of his own experience, but made no refer- 
ence to his own sorrow. Yet those who knew could 
trace an undertone of sadness all through the 
discourse. It is published in the 1880 volume. 
" Brethren and sisters," he said, " this is one of 
our hardest lessons : to learn to give up what we 
most prize at the command of God and to do so 
cheerfully." And again, *' Take up your load, 
my beloved. Do not become murmurers as well 
as mourners. Carry your cross, for it is indeed a 


golden one." Yet once more, " This bitterness 
of spirit may be an index of our need of prayer, 
and an incentive to that holy exercise. When a 
live coal from off the altar touches our lips we 
should preach, but when a drop of gall falls on our 
lips we should pray." 

Only twice in his life did C. H. Spurgeon spend 
a whole night in prayer. He was not indeed ac- 
customed to remain long on his knees, for his idea 
of prayer was the passing of a cheque over the 
bank counter ; there was no need to urge that it 
should be honoured, all that was necessary was to 
wait till the answer came. But twice he agonized 
all night, like Jacob " confident in self-despair," 

With Thee all night I mean to stay 
And wrestle till the break of day. 

One of these nights of intense supplication was 
for a personal need, and those who know his history 
may conjecture when he was driven to his knees, 
like Lincoln, because he had nowhere else to go. 
The other was when the hopes he had built on his 
son Tom being by his side were shattered. How 
deep those hopes had gone may be guessed by the 
upheaval of his life when they were renounced. 
Truly this bitterness of spirit may be an index of 
our need of prayer, and an incentive to its holy 

Did he get the victory ? The next Sunday 
morning's sermon — and, remember, he always 
preached from his own experience — was " Mistrust 
of Gk)d deplored and denounced." He was halting 


upon his thigh, but his Bethel and his Peniel had 
made him a prince with God ; he had in very truth 
prevailed. " How long will it be ere they believe 
me ? " was his text. " Certain of us," he says, 
" have received special and infallible proofs of 
the Lord's faithfulness to His promises. He has 
answered the prayers of some of us in a way that 
has drowned our eyes with tears of joy." What a 
vista that opens into the watches of that Thursday 
night ! 

Did he get the victory ? Listen to the closing 
words of the sermon : " God the Holy Ghost help- 
ing you, resolve in your hearts this day that all 
the boasted discoveries of science you will doubt, 
all the affirmations of the wise you will doubt, all 
the speculations of great thinkers you will doubt, 
all your own feelings and all the conclusions drawn 
from outward circumstances you will doubt, yea 
and everything that seems to be demonstrable 
to a certainty you will doubt, but never, never, 
never, while eternity shall last, will you suffer 
the thought to pass your mind that God can ever 
in the least degree run back from anything that 
He has spoken, or change the word that has gone 
forth of His lips." 



The voyage in the Sohraon was not quite so 
pleasant as that in the Lady Jocelyn, nor the 
opportunities of preaching so frequent. The eon- 
duct of the Sunday services on board was given 
to a curate who seems to have been a rather in- 
effective person, and as one of his fellow-passengers 
phrases it, *' dissent was at a discount." Still 
there were many opportunities of service, and not 
a little good cheer. 

In writing to the Rev. J. S. Harrison some time 
before, in an undated letter, Thomas Spurgeon 
advises, as a practised traveller, about luggage and 
equipment, and advises very sensibly. Two other 
letters with further details follow, but the first 
letter to his mother is dated October 13th, 1879, 
" not far from Madeira," and from this the following 
extracts are taken. 

" On Saturday evening I had asked and gained 
the captain's permission to hold a service in the 
Second Cabin, whose occupants were desirous for 
the same, and we had arranged that ' Mac ' should 
preach. But somehow the first-class folks got to 



fancy that I was to give the address. Lest any 
should think themselves taken in, I was constrained 
to promise to preach the next Sunday." 

" I had been longing to get at the sailors, and 
when I went for'ard I received an invitation to 
come at any time and address them. I should be 
welcome morning, noon or night. Some of them 
had heard Father preach, one was at Melbourne 
when I was there before, and altogether I found 
them to be (as they called themselves) a tidy set 
of men. 

" In all respects we are very comfortable. Our 
ship is a beauty to look at and a good 'un to go. 
We have been longer getting to our present posi- 
tion " (in relation to the passengers) " than in any 
previous voyage, but that is not the fault of the 
ship. We seem to pass everything on the road, 
and have two or three times got lovely sights of 
barques, brigs and ships running close alongside 
for a while but gradually dropping astern. 

" I think you will agree with me that my early 
morning exercise is a wise and health-giving pro- 
ceeding. As soon as sleep is over I arise (generally 
between five and six), and take a turn at the pump 
and have a sea-water bath in the tub on deck. 
There are two small bathrooms at the top of the 
stairs, but they are in such constant demand and 
are so poorly supplied with water that we prefer 
to take it in turns to plunge into the tub and have 
the hose played on to us. Before and after the 
refreshing shower we work at the pump which 
supplies the baths and tub for washing passengers 
and deck, working handles backward and forward 


as in a manual fire engine. Sometimes, too, we 
take a turn at the brooms and mops and try to 
develop muscle." Quite a pleasant glimpse this, 
of three wholesome-minded men. 

" I think I shall get through a good deal of 
reading. During the first week or two it is quite 
impossible to attempt any heavy stuff, so I de- 
voured The Old Curiosity Shop, Since then I have 
been perusing a deeply interesting biography of 
honest Hugh Latimer. Then of a morning, besides 
the best of books, I read The Pilgrim's Progress^ 
Miss Havergal's portion, and a chapter of Never 
Say Die:' 

On October 20th in the same letter he says : 
" I cannot forbear to tell you of the happy Sabbath 
we spent yesterday. At twelve o'clock we three 
and a young man named Barber assembled for 
prayer, and right heartily did we invoke the 
Master's smile. We thought of the blessing vouch- 
safed the week before and hoped it might be 
doubled. We rose refreshed and strengthened for 
work, and when the hour came for service and a 
goodly number of folks assembled I felt we were 
ready for the answer to our supplications. In- 
deed, we had them part answered already in the 
presence of so many hearers of the Word. Speak- 
ing to them as we separated I told them that I and 
my brethren would come to the forecastle in the 
evening, at which they were indeed delighted. 

" At seven o'clock we went for'ard and met with 
quite an enthusiastic reception. Having preached 
in the afternoon I could not attempt an address, 
but we all took part in a service that to outsiders 


would have seemed very rough and ready, but 
which was to honest Jack 'a real good time.' 
When I proposed coming to see them on Wednesday 
evening their unfeigned gratification and gratitude 
found expression in polite ' Thank you Sir ' s and 
hearty ' God bless you ' s. 

" But the best remains to be told. On leaving 
the foc'sle Mr. Barber imparted to us the joyful 
tidings that while we were singing he had been 
talking to and praying with a young man in Second 
Cabin, who had at length found peace in believing. 
He had been a professing Christian and nothing 
more, had given way to drink, but during my 
sermon and afterwards the Spirit strove with him, 
and by our brother's prayers and conversation he 
was led to the sinner's Friend." 

Another letter of no less than 152 pages was 
begun on November 29th, when about a fortnight 
from Melbourne. In this the traveller begins by 
contrasting his feelings on the two voyages, the 
assurance that he will not now be a stranger in 
Austral lands, but his fear that his absence from 
home may be longer. He writes with satisfaction 
that he has not coughed once since stepping on 
board. He gives a long description of the captain 
and officers : the captain being compared to a 
bull-dog, and the first officer to a Skye terrier. 
Incidentally, in describing the sailmaker, he says 
that " there are about two acres of canvas on our 
masts and yards." 

" Altogether I have come to the conclusion that 
this is the most godless set of people that I have 


ever met — a fair specimen of the world at large 
I dare say, but certainly more light and frivolous 
and sinful than any I have met before. And yet 
on Sundays they persist in calling themselves 
* miserable sinners,' while all the time they are 
delighting themselves in iniquity. Saddest of all 
is it to find the curate the ringleader of their 
amusements. ' Good morning, Spurgeon,' is the 
most I ever get from him and as brief a reply is all 
he gets from me, and we are mutually edified by 
the conversation ! " 

The captain had his wife and little daughter 
" Coral " on board, and on her fourth birthday 
Thomas Spurgeon composed some verses in her 
honour which gave him the reputation on board of 
being " a tremendous poet." 

Of the Sunday services during the voyage he 
writes : " While I must admit that the work has 
been very discouraging I am right glad we under- 
took it. During this voyage I heard of a con- 
version that took place during my first one, so we 
will hope for a joyful repetition of that experience. 
Our meetings with the sailors were not much more 
encouraging. Several times in the midst of a 
discourse the order was given, ' All hands reef the 
main sheet,' and our hopes of reaching the heart 
were scattered." 

A further considerable list of books which have 
been read is given as the shores of Australia are 
neared — quite a creditable report. The drinking 
on board seems to have been considerable. " No 
less than 5,000 bottles of beer have been used, and 
the Sohraon can proudly boast that more liquor 


has been consumed during the voyage of '79 than 
in any previous year." 

The lengthy letter, so full and descriptive, must 
have been a great joy to his parents ; its last three 
sheets were written ashore. " Between ten and 
eleven on December 18th we cast anchor off San- 
dridge Pier, and soon Mr. Wade and Mr. Garrett 
came to meet us. I was soon visited by the 
ministers, and everybody welcomes me most 

" My good friends the Rutherfords have left 
Quambatook and have gone to New Zealand. I 
may have more to say about them after seeing 
Mr. Bunning on Christmas Day. In a week's time 
I shall be in Tasmania." 

Rev. R. McCuUough is able to recall the pleasant 
days of the voyage in the Sohraon during which 
he shared a cabin with Mr. Spurgeon and their 
mutual experiences thereafter. " One looks back 
with fondness upon those days we three spent 
at sea. We spent Christmas at Melbourne, and 
arrived at Tasmania on the closing days of the 
year. We were cordially welcomed by Mr. and 
Mrs. Gibson of Native Point, whose names will 
never be forgotten. They loved C. H. Spur- 
geon, whom they had never seen, and loved his son 
as if he had been their own. They consulted him 
about their plans for erecting places of worship, 
and he had an important part in the founding of 
the denomination on this beautiful island. 

"Mr. Spurgeon and I spent a good part of the 
year together at Native Point. He did not feel 
fit for work, he had first to get strong: riding, 


rowing and croquet filled up a good part of our 
time. Mr. Gibson was rather stern in manner, but 
his guest's playfulness and sparkling wit were 
irresistible. His life was good. He had position 
and gifts which would have opened many doors to 
him, and he was at an age when smiles and flattery 
are often dangerous ; but I never knew him to 
trouble about society, or to have an inclination for 
anything of the world. He took a leading part 
in the laying of foundation stones and in the 
opening ceremonies of our church buildings. 

" He visited me twice at Hobart, but there 
lingers with me the picture of him as I knew him 
in all the freshness of youth, with gifts that gave 
promise of something great, looking into the future 
and quietly preparing himself for it, a knight with 
honour unstained, armour bright, anticipating his 
battle with calm confidence." 

Those days also dwell in the memory of his 
friend the Rev. Harry Wood, who writes concerning 
them : "He was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Gibson 
at Native Point during his first visit to Tasmania 
in 1878. He soon won their hearts and became 
more like a son than a visitor. 

" It was during this first visit that in company 
with the Gibsons he went to Wesley Dale, the 
country residence of the revered Mr. and Mrs. 
Henry Reed, who sought to make known the Gospel 
both in Tasmania and in the ' Regions Beyond.' 
Mr. Reed had arranged for Mr. Spurgeon to hold 
some services, and in this Bush district large con- 
gregations gathered and God manifestly blessed the 


" At this time there were only two Baptist 
churches in Tasmania ; we have now thirteen 
churches with some forty mission stations. Our 
beloved friends Mr. and Mrs. Gibson, with their 
son Mr. W. Gibson, have given approximately 
£70,000 in support of the Baptized Church in 
Tasmania. On the human side we owe it greatly 
to the influence of Mr. Thomas Spurgeon that this 
work for God has been accomplished. When the 
large Tabernacle was built in Launceston it was 
hoped that he would have been the Pastor. 

" My first meeting with our beloved President 
was on his second visit. I came over from Aus- 
tralia to spend a month's holiday in Tasmania, 
On arriving at Perth station a young gentleman 
came to the carriage window and inquired for 
me by name. It was Mr. Spurgeon, and he 
got into the carriage and rode with me to the 
next station, where he had just time to catch 
the return train to Perth. We were only about a 
quarter of an hour in each other's company, but 
he won my heart, and the friendship commenced 
in the railway carriage grew and deepened with 
the years. 

" What happy buoyant days those were. Our 
generous host provided us with saddle horses, and 
we rode all over the country taking the word of 
life to most out-of-the-way places. The result of 
my visit was that within a few months I was led 
to settle in this — ' The Gem of the Southern Seas ' — 
where I have now laboured in the Gospel for thirty- 
five years. 

" Mr. Spurgeon never forgot those early days. 


During his great and busy life in London he wrote 
me : ' It was all an apprenticeship.' '* 

In The Sword and Trowel of October 1880 there is 
an article entitled " Tasmanian Tabernacles," 
describing the erection of two houses of prayer 
there, one at Deloraine where Mr. Harrison was 
labouring, and one at Longford in connection with 
the work carried forward by Mr. McCullough, both 
of which were to be completed the following year. 

The December number of the same magazine has 
an article on his Australian experiences entitled 
" Warrambeen Revisited," the sheep station where, 
in 1878, some services had been held. 

In the " shearers' hut," a large building where 
in shearing time the men sleep, with a dining-room 
and fireplace beyond, some 150 people gathered 
to the preaching, a very fine assemblage under 
the circumstances, illustrating the remark of a 
good man who said, "It's the son of your father 
only that could get such a congregation." In the 
evening he preached again in the church, and the 
news rapidly spreading, people came from far and 
near. Then on to Ballarat, where " the Academy 
of Music was attended by the largest colonial 
audience (about 2,300) that I have ever preached 
to, and the desire for blessing was evident in the 
rapt attention and devout feeling." 

In the January, 1881, number we read of 
" Trophies from Toowoomba," a township a 
hundred miles from Brisbane, where a great crowd 
assembled for the preaching, and the report to the 
preacher was " Your testimony in Toowoomba 
gave us a great lift." The April number has an 


article on " Over the Ranges" by the Southern 
and Western Railway of Queensland on Septem- 
ber 8th, 1880, when the journey to Toowoomba 
was undertaken and Mr. Spurgeon rode for a 
considerable portion of the way on the engine. 
*' The name of Spurgeon works wonders in many 
circles, and especially with those who, like this 
engineer, have * been to the Tabernacle and heard 
him.' " 

Of the staple of his ministry at this time we get a 
glimpse in an incident recorded by the preacher 
himself. " Were you hearing young Spurgeon last 
night, and what did you think of him ? " asked 
one. " Little enough,'* replied the other. '' It 
was the same old stuff. He told us nothing new.'* 
But if he kept to the old truth, and largely to the 
old phraseology, he was evidently acquiring a style. 
From his writing we may judge him to be in that 
transition period which is as awkward for a speaker 
or writer as the hobbledehoy stage is for a growing 

Early in the year 1881 we find him in New 
Zealand, whither he had gone to supply the pulpit 
at Hanover Street Church, Dunedin, which was at 
that time without a minister. He was the guest 
of Mr. and Mrs. Rutherford, who had moved hither 
from Australia to a house, " Dalmore," beautifully 
situated overlooking the town and harbour. Here 
he remained for six months, and it is not to be 
overlooked that Miss Lila Rutherford, afterwards 
to become Mrs. Spurgeon, was, as a school girl, also 
at home at the time. The next call was from the 
south of the South Island to the north of the North 


Island, about a thousand miles away, the outcome 
of which was announced in the January, 1882, 
Sword and Trowel by the simple statement : *' The 
President has peculiar pleasure in announcing that 
another Pastors' College student, his son, Thomas 
Spurgeon, has accepted the pastorate of the church 
at Auckland, New Zealand, lately under the care 
of Pastor A. W. Webb." 

On August 22nd, 1881, he writes to his fellow- 
traveller, Mr. Harrison, urging him to visit New 
Zealand. *' This is a wonderful country and well 
worth seeing, a sinful one much needing the Gospel. 
I have had much blessing here, but not as much 
as in Dunedin. I shall stay about Auckland for 
some while yet," he wrote, " it is such a lovely 
place." To Mr. Harrison he dedicated, about this 
time, his poem " All Glory," which was prompted 
by an incident in his experience, and in the same 
letter he declares his intention to seek the '' old 
country " in the spring of 1883. Of course that 
plan was frustrated by the development of affairs. 

" In a week or two's time," he writes on Oc- 
tober 21st, " I shall be the Pastor (pro tern.) of 
this church, i.e,, until I am able to get advice from 
home or am decided by other circumstances." So 
he urged his friend to come to his help. On 
November 11th things had developed. *' I have 
accepted the Pastorate here at least for a time, 
and mention this as an extra reason why you 
should visit N.Z. I feel sure the Lord would 
have me stop here for a while, nor should I be 
surprised if I remain for good. It depends on three 
things. (1) If my health holds good. (2) If the 


Lord blesses the word. (3) If my parents ofler no 
decided objection." 

In order to facilitate Mr. Spurgeon's acceptance 
of the pastorate the church suggested that he 
should visit other parts of New Zealand during the 
summer months, and that Mr. Harrison and Mr. 
Isaacs should help during his absence. He writes 
to the former in Tasmania on November 26th 
saying : " If I settle here — of course there is still 
a doubt — I shall want my books, etc. It would be 
a wonderful convenience to me if you could possibly 
bring them. At the same time I should like to 
fetch them myself, but it means a long journey and 
injury to this church unless you could fill the gap. 
Then if you were here I confess I should like to 
work with you. I am sure we should have some 
glorious times." 

On December 7th, 1881, he has heard that 
Harrison is coming, and writes to him : "I feel 
pretty certain that I shall remain here if my health 
holds. A telegram from home leaves it all to 
myself and promises no objection from my parents." 

His father wrote to him on the subject from 
Mentone, on November 28th, 1881 ; 

*' Mine own Dear Son, 

'' How your whole conduct delights me I 
You are quite able to judge for yourself, and yet 
you defer to your parents in all things. May your 
days, according to the promise, be long in the land. 
'' I think the case is clear enough that you ought 
to settle, for a time at least, in Auckland, but still 
you see, we know but little of the facts and so I 


preferred to leave you to your own judgment. I 
know what that judgment will be. I believe the 
work before you will arouse all your energies — 
which is good ; but I hope it will not tax them — 
which would be mischievous. It is a sphere worthy 
of you, and yet its excellence lies rather in what 
it may be than in what it is. All things con- 
sidered, it is full of promise. 

" Do not come home. I should dearly love to 
see you, but how could we part with you again ? 
Stay away till there is a call to come home. When 
the Lord wills it, it will be safer and will be better for 
us all. To come home in 1882 would be a journey 
for which there is no demand, at a time when you 
are needed elsewhere. 

*' I have thought of you many here, and 
especially while worshipping in the room at Les 
Grottes. How honoured I am to have sons who 
preach the Gospel so fully. I would sooner this 
than be the progenitor of the twelve patriarchs. 

'* Dear Son, may the Lord make you his work- 
man wisely instructed in moulding upon the wheel 
a future empire, as yet plastic clay. Who knows 
what the southern colonies may become ? Im- 
press your Master's image upon the molten wax, 
and seal New Zealand as the Lord's for ever. 

" May your desires be fulfilled and your expecta- 
tions be exceeded. 

" Your loving father, 

*' C. H. Spurgeon. 

" Son Tom." 

A week later we get a glimpse of his surroundings. 


" We, i.e., two young men and myself, think of 
changing our abode soon. Here I have no separate 
study and no stable (for I possess a pony now). So 
we talk of getting a furnished house a little way 
out of town. If we succeed we shall be able to 
accommodate you finely, and I want to be with you 
all the time you can stay here." 

On his arrival Mr. Harrison voted for Sunday 
evening services in the Choral Hall at once, and 
although somewhat dubious about it the Church 
agreed. From the first the gatherings were an 
immense success, and there were distinct signs of a 
spiritual movement. From Mount Eden, where 
his home was situated, the pastor writes to the 
departing evangelist on February 25th : " The 
Choral Hall meetings are a grand success, and the 
morning congregations are as large as ever. The 
Church Census has just been taken, and you will 
be pleased to know that although we were out of 
the Choral Hall — it being otherwise engaged — we 
had the largest congregations both morning and 
evening of any church in Auckland, 547 in the 
morning and over 600 in the evening. The Star 
put a footnote to our record saying that hundreds 
were turned away. This is a lift for us. To God 
be the glory. Oh ! that the hundreds would come 
to Jesus ! They will yet, I believe." Again on 
March 7th, 1882, he writes : " We are still rejoicing 
in the lift you gave us. I have had Friday evening 
meetings with converts : schoolroom quite full and 
such nice times ; about seventy have returned 
cards, over fifty wishing to join Wellesley Street. 
Regular application for membership has been made 


in only a few cases, and I am not anxious that they 
should be too soon. Last Sunday night, although 
the meeting was not advertised, the Choral Hall was 
crammed full, and we had a glorious time." 

Mr. Harrison returned to England, partly in 
pursuance of his own plans, partly to give a report 
of the prospects at Auckland, and on June 26th of 
that year we find him at the Metropolitan Taber- 
nacle prayer meeting. *' He was able to bear 
personal testimony to the need of a new chapel 
for the large congregation already gathered at 
Auckland." There plans had been laid on a gener- 
ous scale, an acre of land had been purchased, and 
a Bazaar projected to be held at Christmas. The 
glad father in London proposed that gifts of money 
and kind should be sent out from the friends in 
London. Some acknowledgments were made the 
following month in The Sword and Trowel, with the 
reminder that " The members of the Old Tabernacle 
at home should be the first to help the New Taber- 
nacle in Auckland. They cannot have forgotten 
young Thomas whom they were so pleased to hear. 
Let him not imagine that he has slipped out of the 
memories of those at home." 

Tidings now began to arrive of the high success 
of the new ministry in New Zealand. Such items as 
** Nineteen were baptized, sixteen of whom were 
present to receive the right hand of fellowship on 
the following Sunday " ; "At our last church 
meeting seven were proposed for membership " ; 
** Last Sunday week we had an overflowing con- 
gregation at the Choral Hall. Every chair about 
the building was placed down the aisles and 

REV. THOMAS SPURQEON (a caricature). 
From '*Th$ 01>9*rver arvi Fru Lanct^" Junt 4th, X887. 


occupied " ; " Wednesday evening prayer meetings 
still continue to draw large congregations " ; *' On 
Sunday we had a larger congregation than ever at 
the Choral Hall " ; " Congregations keep up well : 
Sundays for the last five weeks have been wet and 
cold and therefore most uncomfortable ; but for 
all that the people come to be warmed in their 
souls. When once inside the chapel and the hall, 
and the Holy Spirit warming up the people in their 
hearts, we then have a good time. The young man 
wears well, no diminution of ' a new way of telling 
the old, old story.' " 

In The Chicago Standard of August 25th, 1887, 
Major Henry C. Dane gives some reminiscences of 
his visit to Auckland. Speaking of Thomas 
Spurgeon he says : " He is quite tall, rather spare, 
sharp-visaged and spiritually intellectual, a plain, 
unaffected, strong preacher, often, when deep in 
his subject, much like his father in manner and 
style. There is that same deep earnestness, that 
same yearning of soul, that same sweetness of 
spirit, that same simplicity and devoutness of 
manner which captivates and captures his hearers, 
and that same boldness of utterance which com- 
mands the respect of all." Which makes pleasant 

On October 10th, 1882, he had the joy of wel- 
coming Joseph Cook to Auckland. " We were 
strangers to each other," he said, " except that he 
knew my parents, and I knew his children — in the 
shape of the celebrated Boston lectures. Having 
secured my prize, it was my honour to conduct him 
home — ^if Bachelor's Hall be worthy of such a 


sacred name — to break his fast and share our family 
prayers." They climbed Mount Eden together. 
" We had not travelled far when something arrested 
our companion's attention, and demanded a halt, 
though I neither saw nor heard anything unusual. 
A lark singing o'er our heads had gained one ardent 
admirer, and America soon listened entranced to 
New Zealand's song. Our young colonial thrilled 
the heart of Boston's noble citizen. ' You, fellow, 
you,' said he, ' why, you're worth timing,' and out 
came the watch. Then we were told that, during 
his visit to England, he was so anxious to hear a 
lark that he would not leave till in one of the 
southern counties he hstened to the sweet music. 
There he timed the lark's song for seven consecutive 
minutes." Afterwards there was a lecture which 
lasted two hours and a half to the crowded Opera 
House. " Silence reigned supreme over the people, 
and Mr. Cook over the silence." 

Welcoming Mr. Harrison on his return to the 
Antipodes, Mr. Spurgeon writes under date April 
Tth, 1883 : " The wave that rose during your 
visit has not subsided yet. Even lately I have 
converts applying for baptism who trace either their 
first impression or final decision to your ministry. 
You, too, were my chief adviser as to engaging the 
Choral Hall, and you were right. It has remained 
crowded ever since." 

The circular about the church building bears 
date March 16th, 1882, and the estimate of the cost 
then was £3,200 for the land and £5,000 for the 
building. The Church Report for September 1883 
gives the membership as 567, and expresses joy 


that with the aid of a legacy the last instalment due 
on the land has been paid ; and that the Church 
solemnly covenanted to determine to open the 
new Tabernacle entirely free from debt. The old 
chapel had been sold for £2,500, and the esti- 
mate for the new building had risen to £7,000, 
leaving at that time a sum of £2,400 still to be 

The Christmas Bazaar seems to have raised 
£1,000, and the Stone-laying at Easter, April 14th, 
1884, brought in £500, but the estimates still grew 
(as estimates will), and it was determined that Mr. 
Thomas Spurgeon should visit England to obtain 
help from the old country. He started early in 
May. At Melbourne he shared in what Mr. Chap- 
man declared to be the best meeting the Baptist 
denomination had ever known in that part of the 
world — some 1,500 people came to tea. He was 
present at the opening of the Launceston Taber- 
nacle in Tasmania. On May 27th the members 
of the newly formed Baptist Union of Tas- 
mania marched down in a body to see him on 
board the Iberia, the ship that was to bear him 

" Bless the old boat that carried us so well," he 
says. " She never looked so nice as when we had 
the pleasure of seeing the last of her. At Padding- 
ton my brother met me and bore me off in triumph 
to the Metropolitan Tabernacle. I was soon in 
the embrace of the best man in the world, and 
soon afterwards bowling along behind two swift 
steeds towards ' West wood.' Weariness was for- 
gotten in excitement, especially when Mother's 


arms were around the wanderer and I was safe 
at home. 

'' Sunday at the Tabernacle was almost too good. 
Such sermons ! Such singing ! Such a com- 
munion service I Such hearty welcomes ! Dear 
Father announced that I would preach on Sunday 
week, with collections for the Auckland Tabernacle, 
and the people are delighted at the prospect of 
hearing me and helping us." 

On July 16th at the annual fete of the Stock we 11 
Orphanage, at which one of the chief items was 
" Welcome home to Mr. Thomas Spurgeon," the 
guest of the day said that there was only one man's 
name in Australia and New Zealand which was 
heard as much as the name of his dear father. He 
guessed they wondered what the other name was. 
It was John Ploughman. Then he gave his parable 
of the three telegrams, which became quite classic. 
The first was the message which summoned him 
home in 1878. " Mother's worse — Return," on 
which he based God's call to sinners to come back 
to Him, and continued — " Not many months ago it 
fell to my lot to be the sender of a cablegram. 
Amongst other words were these, ' I am coming 
home.' " He wanted them all to send that tele- 
gram to their Father that afternoon. Then there 
was the third telegram. A few days afterwards 
he received an answer from his father. There was 
a lot about business, saying he would send a first- 
rate man to take his place, though a second-class 
man would have done that. But he put a sweet 
word at the beginning, " Welcome." Turning to 
his father he said, '' Bless you, Father. I knew I 


was welcome. You had to pay extra for it, but 
it would have been a thousand pities to have left 
it out. I read it on board ship, and it made 
assurance doubly sure. So the heavenly answer 
waits all who come : Welcome ! Welcome ! " 



The five months Thomas Spurgeon spent in Eng- 
land in 1884 were almost incessantly occupied by- 
preaching and lecturing on behalf of the Auckland 
Tabernacle. He occupied the pulpit at the Taber- 
nacle in London on many occasions, and some of his 
sermons are embodied in his first book, which was 
issued on the eve of his return — The Gospel of the 
Grace of God, " These sermons," says his father in 
the preface, " have given great delight to the friends 
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. From Brighter 
Britain our son has come to visit us in our best 
weather, but when the first frosts and fogs of winter 
surround our misty isle he must be gone, like the 
swallows, to a sunnier clime." The preacher's 
simple and picturesque style will be understood by 
the following examples : 

"I heard it said the other day, in the Metro- 
politan Tabernacle, that when God made the world, 
He did not wind it up like a watch, and then put it 
under His pillow and go to sleep. Not He, indeed. 
He made it, and then set it agoing, but He still 



directs its course, and regulates its forces, ' up- 
holding all things by the word of His power.' 

" * He rides upon the stormy wind, 
And manages the seas.* " 

*' Do you notice how the Lord takes unbelieving 
prayers and transforms them into assurances to 
stimulate and increase feeble faith ? As He treated 
this poor suppliant, so does He in mercy deal with 
us. For instance, I say to Him, ' Lord, is it possi- 
ble, can it be, that such a sinner as I, on whose black 
list well-nigh every imaginable sin is chronicled, 
should be washed whiter than snow ? ' Then 
listening for the answer from the mercy-seat, I 
hear the assuring echo, ' Whiter than snow.* ' But, 
Lord, I am one of those who have sinned against 
light and knowledge. A mother's tears have be- 
dewed my head as I knelt at her knee. A father's 
counsels, a pastor's pleadings, and many a heaven- 
sent message have remained unheeded. My sin is 
aggravated and inexcusable. Can it be that there 
is mercy for the vilest ? ' And, listening once 
again, the ear of faith catches the sweet voice that 
sounds aloud from Calvary, ' Mercy for the vilest.' 
' Ah, Lord, it seems too good to be true. I can 
scarcely credit that it is possible ' Hark how the 
everlasting hills echo and re-echo the assurance, 
' It is possible 1 It is possible ! ' " 

*' The natives of Australia were very much sur- 
prised the first time they saw a man on horseback. 
They had seen a horse before, and they had seen a 
man before, but they had never seen a man and a 
horse together before. They fancied that some 


unheard-of monster was coming upon them, which 
in the distance looked Hke a gigantic emu. But 
when the apparition drew near, and they perceived 
that the creature resolved itself into man and horse, 
their fears were allayed. The reason why the 
doctrines of Divine sovereignty and human re- 
sponsibility appear so inconsistent to some is, that 
they are not regarded as quite distinct : the one 
being as far above the other as man is superior to 
the horse. They were made to go together, though 
they can never be one. No one would think of 
reconciling steed and rider. Seek not to reconcile 
these doctrines. Give each its proper position, and 
grace and wisdom appear, instead of inconsistency 
and partiality. Assign to God the honour that is 
due to His name, and the right to choose and to 
refuse, and at the same time feel that thou thyself 
art answerable for all that thou dost or dost not 
do. Then, and only then, the mystery is solved." 
" But, alas, I must confess that in New Zealand, 
as well as in Old England, there are many who, 
though they hear it, do not hearken to it. I will 
try to show you the difference. We have in the 
Colonies a custom in connection with the Fire 
Brigade which will illustrate my point. The city is 
divided into numbered wards, and when the alarm 
has been sounded, the bell tolls out the number of 
the ward in which the conflagration has occurred. 
By this arrangement those who are from home, 
attending a service or visiting their friends, are 
informed of the locality of the fire. Suppose the 
system could be amplified, so that every street and 
each house were indicated ; what eager listening 


there would be ! When the bell had finished clang- 
ing its alarm, would not every householder count 
the strokes ? and he who heard the number of his 
house sounded out, would have wings to his heels 
immediately, and rush away to save his children 
and his goods from the fiery element. Now, it is 
when the Gospel comes home to a man like that — 
when he hears his number rung out, and feels that 
his soul is in danger of eternal burning — when the 
finger of God points at him as Nathan's did at 
David, and a stern voice declares ' Thou art the 
man ' — ^then it is that he has given up hearing for 
hearkening, and hearkening becomes equivalent to 
obeying. Then he hastens to the Saviour, saying 
' I flee unto Thee to hide me.' ** 

In subsequent Tabernacle sermons he often re- 
verted to his experiences on the other side of the 
world, and the extracts which follow will show how 
his later style developed. 

" I remember seeing on a remarkably quiet 
morning in the Southern Seas, sun, moon and stars 
all shining together. Perhaps it is not such an 
uncommon sight as I have supposed. To me it 
was novel, and all was so bright and beautiful that 
the vision of it remains with me to this day. The 
sun had only lately risen from the sea. The moon, 
well orbed, with silvery light, was doing her best 
to shine, even though her stronger rival had entered 
into competition, and clustering close to them was 
a certain lustrous star, bright even in the opening 
day. I find, in God's Word, lights of various de- 


grees, stars of different magnitudes. Sun, moon 
and stars combine to gladden the devout reader. 
The light is the same throughout." 

" I remember sailing upon a wonderful lake in 
New Zealand ; the water of this lake is icy cold 
and of a deep blue colour, but the strange pe- 
culiarity of these dreadful waters is that men who 
have lost their lives there — and there have been 
many accidents, for it is a stormy lake — have never, 
never come back again. I mean, that their bodies 
having sunk into the water have never reappeared. 
The reason I do not know, but so it is ; and I am 
glad to think that into such a sea as that, God 
Almighty in His omnipotent love has cast my sin 
and yours, so that they shall never trouble me any 

'* You know I used to live a few years ago in the 
city of Auckland, New Zealand. Well, out away 
in the distant suburbs of that city was the most 
wonderful bridge I have ever seen in my life, and 
I do not care if I never see another like it. There 
had been some difficulty between the two vestries, 
or parishes, or whatever they called them there. 
There was a short space of water, and the land on 
that side belonged to one county or company, and 
the land on this side to another. They could not 
come to terms — not as to the building of the bridge, 
but about the finishing of it. I do not know how it 
happened, but so it was, that on the further side 
were several arches or spans of the bridge, and on 
this side just as many, but the one that should have 
joined them was missing; and there it stood for 
many a year, and stands still — stands still in more 


than one sense — even to this day, for aught I know, 
a mockery, a vanity, because it has never been 

His lecture on *' Brighter Britain " seems to have 
been most popular wherever it was given. In 
London it drew a large audience, and his father, 
who presided, provided a pleasant interlude in 
which he described his own congregation. *' He 
knew them on Sunday when they were going to the 
Tabernacle. There was a difierent kind of walk 
about them from that of other people. He saw 
good people going along so (imitating their walk 
amidst much laughter). They were going to 
church or somewhere, and they went slowly, as if 
they had plenty of time and there was plenty of 
room when they got there. But his own people 
came trotting along quick (imitating them also 
amid roars of laughter). They knew that unless 
they got there in time they would not get there at 

Early in December, at the annual meeting of the 
Pastors' College, Mr. Thomas Spurgeon was received 
with a long ovation of cheers and waving of hand- 
kerchiefs. He told the people that this home- 
coming had been one of the happiest seasons in 
his life. Altogether since his return he had re- 
ceived £2,500. He had not got all that he wanted, 
as whoever knew a Spurgeon that had ? His 
brother's people at Greenwich had given him a 
clock to keep Greenwich time, and his father had 
given him the old Bible that he had preached out 
of in Park Street Chapel, while the Tabernacle 


friends had given him a Communion service for his 
new Tabernacle in Auckland. 

On December 12th, 1884, he set sail in the 
Ligiiria, his father having bid him not to return 
again, for he could never bear the pain of another 
parting. Yet many and many a time thereafter 
he longed for his return. 

During this voyage he had two travelling com- 
panions, Mr. H. H. Driver, who was returning to 
New Zealand after his course at the Pasters' 
College, and Mr. J. R. Cooper, who had been selected 
by C. H. S. to take charge of the new church at 
Perth in Tasmania. Mr. Cooper has been gcod 
enough to recall some of the experiences of the 
voyage. He took his bride with him, and Mr. 
Driver shared the cabin with Mr. Spurgeon. " We 
had much happy fellowship, and his gentle kindly 
way made him a favourite with those whose good- 
will was to be welcomed. It was our custom to 
join in devotional fellowship day by day in Tom's 
cabin. The four of us read together a Psalm and 
then the exposition of it from The Treasury of 
David, At Naples fortune favoured us — we were 
able to spend eight hours ashore." 

A descriptive article, " Christmas in the Canal," 
is to be found in the 1885 volume of The Sword and 
Trowel from the pen of T. S. "So lovely a morning 
I have seldom seen ; even Australia and New 
Zealand could scarcely rival it. Happy children 
romped about us with the presents Santa Claus 
had placed in their hung-up stockings." 

They arrived at Adelaide on January 20th, 1885, 
and were heartily welcomed, as also at Melbourne, 


and as the Tasmanian boat did not leave till after 
the Sunday they all three preached in different 
churches in the city. Mr. Gibson, his son, and all 
the Baptist ministers of the Island welcomed them 
to Tasmania. Mr. Spurgeon saw the newly married 
couple safely installed in their manse, and then 
continued the journey to New Zealand. Writing 
to Mr. Cooper on February 12th, 1885, he gives 
him such advice as might have come from a Bishop, 
and asks for a letter of cheer from time to time. 
In response to such a letter he wrote from Auckland 
on January 29th, 1889 : " It is really good news 
you give me of yourself* Do you know I almost 
feel inclined to envy you. A hundred times I have 
wished to be out of the forefront in some smaller 
and quieter sphere where peace and quietness might 
be possible. Yet doubtless the Lord placed me 
here, and I must tarry till He moves me. Our 
little one rejoices in the name of ' Daisy,' her full 
title being Marguerite May. She is, I rejoice to 
add, very well, and of course superlatively lovely 
in her parents' eyes." But that is anticipating. 



From Adelaide Mr. Spurgeon lost no time in sending 
a message to the Church at Auckland. A para- 
graph went the round of the New Zealand papers 
to the effect that amongst the cable officials 
his ingenuity in squeezing a pastoral on the ten- 
words minimum tariff was regarded as a very 
astute idea ; the message when written out in full 
extended to no less than seventeen lines. It was 
reported that when the message was read the 
following Sunday by Rev. W. E. Rice, who had 
occupied Mr. Spurgeon' s place during his absence, 
a smile flickered across the congregation at " seeing 
so much theology covered by seven shillings." 
The cable ran, " Romans first eight twelve Second 
Corinthians first eleven." It may be worth while 
to quote the Scriptures ; their appropriateness will 
be self-evident. 

" First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ 
for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout 
the whole world. For God is my witness whom 
I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son, that 
without ceasing I make mention of you always in 
my prayers : making request, if by any means 



now at length I might have a prosperous journey 
by the will of God to come to you. For I long to 
see you. that I may impart unto you some spiritual 
gift, to the end that ye may be established ; that 
is, that I may be comforted together with you by 
the mutual faith both of you and me. Ye also 
helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift 
bestowed upon us by the means of many persons 
thanks may be given by many on our behalf." 

In that spirit pastor and people met. On 
March 1st, 1885, a soiree was held in the Choral 
Hall to bid him welcome, and also to say farewell 
to Mr. Rice, who, at his father's request, had come 
from England to Auckland to shepherd the church 
during the pastor's absence. Mr. Spurgeon had 
promised to send a " first-rate man," and amid 
great cheering that estimate was endorsed by the 
meeting. The Church, which numbered 650 mem- 
bers, presented Mr. Rice with a testimonial and 
very heartily welcomed Mr. Spurgeon. 

As to the new Tabernacle, " long after the hoped- 
for time, and far beyond our anticipated cost, the 
building was complete in all its most important 
portions late in April. There remained another 
£1,000 to raise," Mr. Spurgeon continues in an 
article written about that time, " and our hearts 
rise to our rich Banker for this last overdraft. At 
length, money or no money, we fixed the day of the 
opening. On Sunday, May 10th, we said farewell 
to the wooden tenement, which for eight and 
twenty years had braved the battle (of the elements) 
and the breeze. Our friend Mr. Cornford, for five 


and twenty years the pastor of this people, was the 
preacher. He revived old memories by preachirg 
the old Gospel. At night the Choral Hall was 
' farewelled,' a great crowd gathering to pay its 
last respects to a place hallowed by sacred associa- 
tions and sweet experiences." 

The building was opened free of debt. " Even 
now I find it difficult/' the pastor writes, " to 
credit that in a few years we have succeeded in 
obtaining nearly an acre of land, with two houses 
on it, one of them an almshouse and the other for 
the chapel keeper, and our new House of Prayer, 
and still have enough ground remaining to realize 
between two thousand and three thousand pounds, 
but destined, I trust, to accommodate some other 
Institution to our Saviour's praise. The shrewdest 
heads among us could hardly have ' seen their 
way ' to such a scheme, but we have had a Managing 
Director whose thoughts are higher than ours. All 
glory be to His holy name." This familiarity of 
faith is recorded with the utmost reverence, albeit 
with primitive simplicity. 

Tuesday, May 12th, 1885, was the day of the 
opening service. The Tabernacle, which actually 
cost £14,628, is a building which accommodates 
1,200 worshippers, and " the interior presents an 
aspect of elegance, of commodiousness, and of 
solidity." As one of the Auckland newspapers 
puts it, it is " a credit to the denomination to which it 
belongs, an ornament to the city, and an enduring 
monument to the self-devotion and energy of the 
gifted young preacher who initiated the enterprise 
and has carried it out to successful fruition." On 


the opening day the utmost enthusiasm prevailed 
amongst the people. " They rejoiced to enter the 
building not alone as their gift to God, but as His 
gift to them. It was meet that the first sounds 
heard within the walls when the people assembled 
for the first service should be the familiar strains of 
the Doxology." The sermon Mr. Spurgeon then 
preached on " Hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling 
place," as well as the sermon of the following 
Sunday, " True Worship," was afterwards pub- 
lished in exactly the same form and type as his 
father's sermons. The three thoughts of the first 
sermon were given in the hymn which Mr. Spurgeon 
had written for the occasion, two verses of which 
are — 

The " House of God" henceforth 

Shall be its sacred name ; 
A monument to prayer, it must 

A " House of Prayeb" remain. 

Yet one more boon we crave, 

May many through Thy grace. 
That this a " House of Mercy" prove. 

Be born within this place. 

Meeting followed meeting during the week, and on 
Sunday, May 17th, thronged services were held, a 
crowd of 1,700 people being accommodated in the 

The next two or three years were of unexampled 
prosperity in the Church life. In the address pre- 
faced to the Report of July 1886, the Pastor, 
pausing at the milestone, says : " How about the 
next mile ? Can we not adopt a pace at once more 


swift and more steady than before ? May we not 
hope to keep more directly in the straight Hne, that 
is, with less waste of energy and fewer wanderings ? 
Will it not be our happy privilege to gain more 
companions on the road ? And shall it not be said 
of us, more truly than before, that we have laid 
aside every weight ? Thus pausing by the way, we 
hear the distant bells which chime of stronger zeal, 
and firmer faith, more fervent faith, holier hving, 
and more spiritual power." 

On the copy which has come into my hand a 
traveller has made the note, " The most flourishing 
Church I have visited in the colonies. A great 
family likeness to his father in the Pastor," 

Once a year the said pastor provided a social 
evening for the Young Men's Mutual Improvement 
Society, and on August 31st we find him rendering 
his own poem " In Perils on the Sea," the most 
ambitious of his poems, pubhshed that year in a 
separate form. The following extract will show its 

But what of Paul ? Methiiiks I saw him leap 

Among the first to swim, for in the deep 

He'd spent a night and day, and thrice before 

Had suffered shipwreck on a storm-beat shore. 

Upborne by faith as well as strength and skill, 

He battles with the surging surf, until 

A kindly billow takes him in its reach, 

And casts him pale and panting on the beach. 

With scarce a moment's rest, behold he strives — 

His ©wn life saved — to rescue other lives ; 

Anon he shouts a word of cheerfulness 

To yonder sufferers in dire distress ; 

Anon he bends to chafe some ice-cold form. 

Or snatches other trophies from thejstorm. 


Breast-high he ventures in, and bravely saves 
Exhausted strugglers from the refluent waves. 
All things to all these men he has become, 
If he by all means may deliver some. 
Nay, nay ; not some alone, but all, for so 
Jehovah's angel pledged a week ago ! 
No sailor lost, and not one soldier drowned, 
The passengers all saved, the prisoners found. 
Close on three hundred souls — a hapless host — 
Stand safe, though shiv'ring on Melita's coast ! 

What holy gladness fills the eyes of Paul ; 

As answers to his prayer he views them all ; 

His joy — though stained with blood, or salt with sea. 

His crown — or Jew or Gentile, bond or free ! 

On November 6th of the same year, C. H. 
Spurgeon, leaving his London congregation for a 
spell in the south of France, writes a pastoral, and 
on the back of it there is printed for the first time 
the hymn " All of Grace," suggested by his father's 
book with that title, perhaps the finest of Thomas 
Spurgeon's poetic writings, certainly the one which 
has gained most acceptance. 

* All of grace ' — from base to summit, 
Grace on every course and stone ; 

Grace in planning, rearing, crowning, 
Sovereign grace, and grace alone ! 

' All of grace ' — from keel to topmast, 
Grace the hull and spars has wrought ; 

Grace designing, building, launching, 
Grace unaided, grace imsought ! 

Grace primeval ! grace eternal ! 

Grace foreknows, and grace elects ; 
Grace provides a full salvation, 

Grace the rebel heart affecti. 


' * All of grace ' — for useless strivings 
Perfect pardon's sweet content! 
Light and life for death and darkness ! 
' All of grace ' omnipotent ! 

' Grace bids Christian quit Destruction, 
Leads him to the Crucified ; 
Brings to Beulah, helps o'er Jordan, 
Welcomes on the other side I 

* Grace for grace,' and ' Grace sufi&cient,* 
' Grace abounding,' ' Grace that reigns,* 

Grace the guarantee of glory ! 

Grace ! Grace ! Grace ! How sweet the strains ! 


*• ' All of Grace,' oh ! ' All of grace,' 

* Not of works lest man should boast, 
Frank forgiveness suits the vilest ! 
Largest debtors love the most ! " 

From a long report in The New Zealand Baptist by 
a visitor to Auckland we find that the success of the 
earlier years was well maintained. " The Auckland 
Tabernacle," it says, '' is erected in a most com- 
manding position, and can be seen from most parts 
of the city and suburbs. As we neared the church 
we found a stream of people from city and subvirb 
all bound for the same place, and we were forcibly 
reminded of many visits to the London Tabernacle." 
Then follows a realistic description of what was 
evidently a service full of power. *' In three 
minutes the Tabernacle was empty owing to the 
excellent arrangements, and the writer was on his 
way home deeply grateful to God that such men 
as C. H. Spurgeon and his twin sons rejoiced to 


preach the old-fashioned gospel in a plain, homely 
way that reaches the hearts of the people." 

Rev. J. D. Gilmore on his return to New Zealand 
from the Pastors' College, was invited by Mr. 
Spurgeon to be his guest and spend several weeks 
with him in his bachelor home in Mount Albert. 
*' At his suggestion," Mr. Gilmore says, '' I preached 
at Ponsonby, and became Pastor of the church, so 
I was his near neighbour for seven years. At the 
time I was in his house he had a dog called Flirt, 
well-named, for she transferred her affections to me. 

" I went over to the Tabernacle one evening for 
a Baptism. As we were going on the platform we 
passed a young woman in the corridor, and Mr. 
Spurgeon, always courteous, stopped and spoke to 
her. * You are not a member with us, I think,' he 
said. To which she replied, ' Oh, no, I belong to 
the Gathered-Outs.' At once Mr. Spurgeon re- 
sponded, ' Do you indeed ? I belong to the 
Gathered-Ins.' He was always quick at repartee ; 
once when I wrote asking if he were better, he 
answered, ' Thanks, I am not altogether well yet, 
but I am much better than I was when I w^as worse 
than I am now.' 

The Headmaster of the High School at Auckland 
regularly took a class of his boys to the Tabernacle 
simply to hear Mr. Spurgeon read the Scriptures, 
he considered the enunciation to be so fine. One 
Saturday afternoon he took those same boys up to 
Mount Eden, an extinct volcano outside Auckland, 
and got them to write an essay on their experience. 
One answer Mr. Spurgeon afterwards used as an 
illustration of looking for God in the wrong way ; 


the boy had written, " And when we got to the 
top we saw the great creator ! " 

One evening Mr. Spurgeon was to be the principal 
speaker at a big Temperance demonstration held 
in a large building with a corrugated iron roof. 
Just as the meeting was about to commence, a 
thunderstorm burst and the rain came down in 
torrents. As it was impossible to give an address, 
Mr. Spurgeon, equal to the occasion, said, " My 
friends, I have never spoken against water in my 
life, and I do not intend doing so to-night." 

Rev. W. S. Potter, sometime his neighbour in 
Auckland, in an appreciative letter says : '* During 
his single days I occasionally visited him, and he 
never allowed me to leave without praying with 
me : once when I was in trouble he said in his 
prayer, ' O Lord, we know Thou wilt help us in 
our troubles or help us out of them.' On two 
occasions when he found himself too ill to conduct 
the service in the Choral Hall I took it for him. 

'* When I removed to the Thames, the mining 
there had largely failed. During a visit to Auck- 
land Mr. Spurgeon inquired about my work and 
when I suggested that he might come and give us 
a lecture, he said, ' I will right heartily.' His 
lecture on ' The Truth, the whole Truth, and 
nothing but the Truth ' so stirred the people that 
they gave nearly £7. Then at the close of the 
meeting he asked the people to buy his book The 
Gospel of the Grace of God, and the ' annual report 
of his mother's Book Fund,' and another £6 was 
raised, not one penny of which would he take for 
himself. His steamboat expenses were considerable ; 


so I wrote a letter expressing my thanks, enclosing 
£l to cover his expenses, and gave it to him just 
as the steamer was moving. He opened it, and 
quickly rolled up the note in the envelope and 
threw it at me on the wharf. 

" Eight years ago I was in London, but he was 
in Switzerland. On his return he arranged for 
Mrs. Potter and me to spend a day in Slough. It 
was one of the happiest days I have spent in my 
life. He took us to the church of which ' Gray's 
Elegy ' is written, and through Burnham Beeches, 
but the real joy of the visit was Mr. Spurgeon him- 
self. I felt he was conferring a great favour on 
me, and yet he put it all the other way, and bring- 
ing his hand down warmly on mine, he said, * You 
dear old fellow to give me this happy day.' " 

The event which makes the year 1888 memorable 
was the marriage of Mr. Spurgeon on February 10th 
to Miss Lila Rutherford, at Hanover Street, Dune- 
din. Already we have seen his friendship with the 
family from his earliest days in Australia, and 
have noted the removal of Mr. Gideon Rutherford 
to New Zealand, and Mr. Spurgeon's sojourn in the 
home there before his settlement in Auckland. 
The friendship was not confined to the younger 
people, for on September 1st, 1881, C. H. Spurgeon 
writes to his son, " Do give my love to Mr. Ruther- 
ford. The thought of him touches my heart. 
May the Lord bless all the children, and sanctify 
family sorrows ! I wish I could go to Australia or 
New Zealand if it were only for the sake of seeing 
that loving friend." 

It may not be out of place here to transcribe 


some half- playful references in the father's letters 
to " Son Tom " on the question of marriage. At 
least three times he gave him the opportunity of 
opening his heart on the matter. One letter, dated 
" Sweet Home, March 15th," says, " I half suspect 
you are getting fond of some Australian girl, for 
you have written a great deal about a certain 
Victoria, but then there was almost as much about 
Adelaide, I hope you have not two strings to your 
bow, and yet you write very lovingly about both. 
Mind your heart, my boy, or it will be gone before 
you know it." And on September 1st, 1881, he 
writes, " When you see a lady of your own age who 
is at all like what your mother was, be sure to pop 
the question at once. If you get her and she 
lives to be what your dear mother is, you will 
lament her weakness and yet reckon her to be 
better than the strongest of women." In another 
letter referring to Brother Charles, the father says, 
" I fancy he will soon be wanting to be tied to the 
stake which he now leans upon very tenderly." 

It was in 1886 that Miss Rutherford and Mr. 
Spurgeon, who had long been drawn towards each 
other, became formally engaged. They had there- 
after frequent opportunity of meeting, for an attack 
of rheumatic fever compelled his fiancee to go to 
the North Island for treatment at the Hot Springs, 
about forty miles from Auckland. Mr. Rutherford 
found here, with his gun, enough to occupy his 
attention, but the young people did not accompany 
him on his shooting expeditions. 

Needless to say the wedding, which was con- 
ducted by Mr. North at Hanover Street Chapel, 


was quite an event in Dunedin. Many were unable 
to gain admission to the crowded church, and 
expressions of goodwill on the occasion abounded. 
The marriage was ideally happy, the qualities of 
husband and wife balancing and perfecting each 
other, and their mutual love and devotion grow- 
ing with the years. After their honeymoon they 
settled in Auckland at Remuera, about three miles 
from the Tabernacle. A letter written to his father 
soon afterwards will best give the colour of the 
moment. It is dated March 22nd, 1888. 

" My own Dear Father, 

" How can I thank you for the kind letter 
you wrote me from Mentone ? I had been expect- 
ing it ere it arrived. My hopes were high. I knew 
that kind love and wise counsel would be in it, 
but I scarcely ventured to hope for so much of both. 
And as for your good gift to mark my marriage 
and feather the nest, I had never so much as dreamed 
of such a thing. A thousand thanks for your 
gracious generosity. . . . 

" I thought you would rejoice that George 
Miiller was at our wedding. I count it no small 
matter to have had a seat on Dr. Brock's knee (I 
remember it so well), and his presence at our 
baptism, to have had also Dr. Moffat's hand upon 
my head while he prayed our father's God to bless 
us, and to have had George Miiller' s presence and 
prayer at our nuptials. 

" Better than all three put together is the con- 
stant blessing of having you as both Father and 
Friend. How I have sympathized with you lately 


— ^for though you are on the winning side the strife 
must be sore. Thousands rejoice in you and plead 
for you. I wish I could tell you all dear Mr. Miiller 
said about the conflict, and convey, as it should be 
conveyed, his ' dear love' to his ' pelov'd brudder.' 
" My love and esteem for you can never die or 
even wane, but this seems poor return for all your 
goodness. Such as I have give I thee. If I could 
help you anyhow, holding the horses, or carrying 
the whip, or scraping the plough, it would be all 
too great an honour. 

" With heartiest love and gratitude, 
" I am your fond and faithful, 

" Son Tom." 

As a wedding gift the church presented Mr. 
Spurgeon with a writing-table, a replica of one that 
the New Zealand people gave to the Pope ; in fact, 
Mr. Spurgeon received the one made for the Pope, 
and the Pope got the one begun for Mr. Spurgeon, 
which was not finished in time for the presentation. 
It is in the London home to-day — a very fine piece 
of furniture. At the same time a large china 
cabinet made of all the different sorts of wood 
grown in New Zealand was presented to Mrs. 
Spurgeon : that also graces the London home, and 
is an object of great interest to visitors. 

On Christmas Day 1888, a little daughter — 
Daisy — came as God's good gift to the home, but 
in March she was gone. The sorrowing parents 
had no picture of her, save the image engraven on 
their hearts, for the intention of having a photo- 
graph taken was postponed until she should have 


been a little older. For this the father never quite 
forgave himself, he had been so engrossed in the 
work of the Church that he had not noted the 
passage of the months. His own sorrow made him 
very sympathetic with others. Long afterwards 
he wrote : 

'' Have some of my readers lost their little ones ? 
Then hear me, for I too have walked that Via 
Dolorosa. A certain well-loved text hung on my 
study-wall, illuminated by my own hand. I little 
thought, as I drew the letters and gilded the 
capitals, that the words would have a very literal 
fulfilment. But I knew it ere the blossom fell. 
She had been sick a little while, and none could tell 
how it might end. As I hoped, and feared, the 
truth leapt from the wall right into my heart, in the 
twinkling of an eye : ' Sutler the little children to 
come unto Me.' Soon after that my firstborn was 
with the angels. Then, once more ' was there a 
voice heard, lamentation and weeping, and great 
mourning.' Did we do wrong to grieve ? Is weep- 
ing sin ? Nay, nay ; for ' Jesus wept.' But we 
did not sorrow as those without hope ; we did not 
refuse to be comforted. I own no foot of land 
save a little plot in an Auckland cemetery, and 
there, beneath a drooping acacia, is a little shell- 
strewn mound, and a simple stone with this in- 
scription — 



'* Even so, Father . . 


** My sorrowing friend, write ' Even so, Father ' 
on your gravestones. Your little ones are ' gone 
before.' Do not push away the pierced hand that 
holds the kerchief of consolation to your streaming 
eyes. I pray you, refuse not to be comforted. 
* The Spirit and the Bride say Come,' and if your 
tear-dimmed eyes prevent you coming to the Com- 
forter, remember He is called the Paraclete. He 
will come to you, if you will call to Him." 

The death of his child brought to a crisis the fear 
that had been growing for some time that his health 
was not equal to the strain of the great church — 
the largest in Australasia — that was now his care ; 
so in the month of June he declared his intention of 
resigning the pastorate. The Leader of June 7th, 
1889, wrote : *' The announcement of Pastor 
Spurgeon's determination to resign the pastorate 
of the Baptist Tabernacle at Auckland, in conse- 
quence of failing health, has caused very great 
regret, not only amongst the members of his own 
denomination, but amongst all sections of the 
Church of Christ. It is acknowledged, even by 
those who have not seen eye to eye with Mr. 
Spurgeon, that he has evinced no ordinary ability 
and devotion in welding the Baptist body in this 
city into its present compact form. It is due to 
his zeal, piety and pulpit oratory that his church 
has attained to the efficiency which has made it 
such a potent influence for good on the com- 
munity." And so on for a column. 

On June 10th, at a meeting of the Church, with 
much regret the decision was taken as final, Mr. 


Spurgeon not being willing to accept the alternative 
of a prolonged holiday, but expressing his willing- 
ness to remain until the end of the year. His 
father and Dr. Maclaren were empowered to choose 
a successor, and Mr. William Birch was sent out 
to what proved a somewhat unbalanced pastorate. 
But that does not concern us here. More to the 
point is Thomas Spurgeon's letter to his father, 
dated June 17th, 1889, in which amongst other 
things he says ; 

" This mail will bring you tidings of my resigna- 
tion, if you have not heard of it previously. I 
meant to send you a copy of my letter to the Church, 
but have not time to write it. But it is perhaps 
as well not to bother you. I gave two reasons. 
One was that I did not feel ' able ' enough to do 
justice to all the work, and the other was that for 
some long time the blessing seemed to have been 
withheld and the church was not prospering as it 
should. I further intimated that my inability to 
visit all the folk and personally to superintend all 
the efforts was partly accountable for the lack of 
success. I therefore asked to be released from the 
too heavy burdens at the end of November. 

" I found it sad work to do this, but I had the 
assurance ere I did it that it should be, and I am 
more and more convinced that I have acted rightly. 
If I were well and strong I would delight to remain, 
or if I got so by and by I would not object to 
return. But the furlough which was kindly offered, 
and the assistant suggested, did not meet the case. 
I am sure it is best to secure a successor. 


" I have no hesitation in saying that the sphere 
is a good one and some of the best of men and 
women are here. As to myself I have the vaguest 
of plans. Invitations are coming to me already, 
but cannot be accepted. I think of going to Mr. 
Gibson after our Union meetings in December, of 
resting there a while, and then of helping the 
churches in Tasmania. It may be that I visit the 
other colonies too. I feel sure that the way will 
open, for in no matter of my life have I more 
earnestly sought direction than in this. The ut- 
most grief prevails here, and throughout the colony, 
at my decision, though there are some few who look 
at the case somewhat as I do and, regretting it 
like myself, they judge that I have acted the wise 
and honest part. I hope therefore you will not 
grieve over it. I shall keenly feel the parting, yet 
cannot help being glad to be relieved of the burden." 

On November 8rd Mr. Spurgeon preached his 
farewell sermon. Of the service The Leader of 
November 8th says : " It is not difficult to account 
for Mr. Spurgeon's popularity and power. We 
noticed members of the Anglican, Presbyterian, 
Congregational, and other churches present, and 
have no doubt that the young preacher's blameless 
life, elocutionary power, clear enunciation, good 
memory, and above all his clear and fearless preach- 
ing of the old Gospel story of man the sinner and 
Christ the Saviour, account for Mr. Spurgeon's hold 
on such vast numbers. Auckland people would 
soon see through and rip up sham and humbug. 
Any young man who can therefore pass through 


the ordeal which Thomas Spurgeon has stood during 
the eight years he has ministered at the Tabernacle, 
must have some grit in him. Envious detractors 
said when he came here that * his father's name and 
fame do it,' but being in no way connected with Mr. 
Spurgeon's church we can give an unbiassed 
opinion, and we must say that he has proved by his 
ministry here that he is a manly man, a sterling 
preacher of no mean order, and that if his name 
were Tom Jones his genuine ability and aptness to 
preach would have placed him where he is now — 
in the front rank of all the preachers in Auckland.'* 
The next evening a farewell soiree was held when 
addresses were presented from the Church, the 
Auckland Ministers' Association, and the Young 
Men's Christian Association. Mr. Spurgeon had a 
great ovation, and presented the Church with a 
pulpit Bible to replace the one his father had pre- 
sented to him, which he had hitherto used. So 
closed a ministry that has left an impress on the 
Colony that remains to this day. During the 
month of December Mr Spurgeon supplied the 
pulpit at Dunedin, and on January 23rd, 1890, he 
left New Zealand for Tasmania, " having given 
much of the red blood of his youth to the city by 
the W aitemata,'^ and even on his departure being 
retained as Pastor Emeritus by the Church at the 



On January 27th, 1890, Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon 
arrived in the s.s. Rotomahana at Tasmania, where 
for some months they were the guests of Mr. and 
Mrs. Gibson at Native Point. Here they rested 
for some weeks. On March 16th, Mr. Spurgeon 
preached at Longford, the following Sunday at 
Launceston, giving his lecture on " The Apostle of 
Burmah " on the Tuesday, and at Hobart on the 
following Friday. Influenza caused a break, but 
in April he preached the Association Sermon for 
the Baptist Union of Tasmania at Launceston, and 
we find him also at Latrobe, Devonport, and Perth. 
In May he was again at Launceston, and on the 
last day of that month he left Tasmania, having 
accepted the proposal of the Baptist Union of New 
Zealand, made at its meetings in Dunedin on the 
previous December 10th, that he should devote 
himself to evangelistic work in the Islands. 

In The New Zealand Baptist he writes : " To- 
wards the end of my furlough I was led to Victoria, 
and there received much spiritual stimulus. At 
the closing meeting of the half-yearly session of the 
Baptist Union I solicited the prayerful sympathy of 
the brethren on my own behalf and for the work. 

137 » 


I am not likely to forget the gathering amid the 
gums of Ocean Grove, when men full of faith pleaded 
that God would endue me with power and abun- 
dantly bless my testimony in New Zealand. I 
humbly believe that the prayer was answered then 
and there. So great was the interest that several 
of the leading ministers voluntarily pledged them- 
selves to lay our work before their prayer meetings 
week by week. I love to think that in Launceston, 
Geelong and Melbourne those who have the ear 
of the King are pleading our cause — His, rather, 
for we are co-workers together with God." 

In a letter to Mr. T. Batts, kindly forwarded by 
his daughter Mrs. C. R. Macdonald, Mr. Spurgeon 
writes from Tasmania on February 10th, 1890, and 
states his attitude to certain doctrines which his 
successor in Auckland Tabernacle was preaching. 
The extract is interesting in view of the new service 
which awaited him : " The best way to proclaim 
holiness is to preach the doctrines of grace (so I 
think) and to exhort to Christlikeness. All boasting 
about perfection is anti-scriptural. Christ drew 
lessons from sparrows and ravens but not from 
peacocks. They are mentioned in the Bible I know, 
but in the society of apes. May the Lord direct his 
heart to something more practical and scriptural, 
for I fear me that those who get so quickly to 
the top of the ladder will have to step painfully 
down or else tumble over on the other side." 

For eighteen months this evangelistic work con- 
tinued with signs of blessing everywhere. While 
these words are being written frequent letters are 
being received from New Zealand recalling the grace 


of them — " Those were grand days" ; *' The best 
workers are the people brought in then " ; " His 
ministry is bearing fruit to-day," is the testimony 
from place after place. Mrs. Spurgeon accom- 
panied her husband in these journeys as long as 
she could. Travelling was difficult, for out-of-the- 
way places were visited ; often the journeys had to 
be undertaken by springless carts, over the roughest 
of roads, and frequently on horseback. The ac- 
commodation, always kindly, was often primitive, 
meals served on a clothless table with the men sit- 
ting down in their shirt- sleeves. But the intrepid 
couple only laughed at their hardships, saw the 
best side of everything, and endeared themselves 
very greatly to the people wherever they went. 

In The Sword and Trowel for 1890 and 1891 there 
are very readable accounts from Mr. Spurgeon' s 
own pen of the places he visited. From these and 
from newspaper extracts, happily preserved, can 
be gleaned the following particulars. 

Invercargill, where the mission work began, 
was reached on June 3rd after a tempestuous 
voyage ; and on the following two Sundays and 
on the days between, services were held deepening 
in power each day, and culminating at a great 
meeting in the Theatre. " The population of 
Invercargill is essentially Scotch. At every street 
corner you may hear the Scotch bodies ' crackin* 
awa' ' in their broadest brogues, and two or three 
Kirks proclaim that the majority of the folk there- 
about are of the Presbyterian persuasion." Of the 
outcome of the meetings the missioner wisely 
writes : '' Without tabulating results — for who can 


tell whither the blessing tends, much less where it 
ends ? — I may say that God gave us to see signs 
following, and assured us that a glad key-note had 
been struck for a mission which, with His blessing, 
cannot fail to be an anthem full of praise to the 
Lord of love." 

The next centre was Caversham, and to reach it 
a severe winter journey had to be undertaken — it 
seems strange to think of winter in June. The 
pastor there was a son of Howard Hinton; and 
Charles Carter, famous in Ceylon in connection with 
the Baptist Missionary Society, had been a previous 
minister of the church. Of the special services a 
friend reports that it was — 

Christ first, Christ last, Christ all day long. 
My strength, my glory, and my song. 

And The New Zealand Baptist is constrained to 
write : " Better work the Union never did than when 
it committed itself to this evangelistic campaign." 

MosGiEL, visited during the first fortnight in 
July, yielded some fifty confessors of faith. " More 
inspiring meetings I never attended, more interested 
hearers I never addressed." 

The rest of July was given to Oamuru, which is 
to be pronounced Wom-a-roo. " A native name 
of course ; but an easy one to pronounce. What 
say you to Whakarewarewa or Nihootekisse, or 
Tapuacharuru ? " The town stands on the east 
coast of the South Island, about seventy miles 
north of Dunedin. Here the experience of the 
previous missions was repeated. 

A hundred miles further north is Ashburton. 


*'Here*s your fishing-rod, sir," said a voice behind 
me as I was about to take my seat in the train, 
and two sticks and a small parcel were handed to 
the departing Evangelist. The apparatus turned 
out to be a calico sign, with hems to take the eight- 
feet sticks, and the announcement on it " Spur- 
geon's Mission. To-night at 7.30." " Alas ! that 
this fresh fishing-ground yielded little," writes the 
Mssioner. " For six nights the Gospel was pro- 
claimed, yet only a few submitted themselves to 
the righteousness of God." 

The next mission was held at Sydenham at the 
end of August, but it was somewhat hindered by 
labour troubles, and the unrest made it difficult 
to get away to the next place. With a scratch 
crew the steamer started, but owing to a storm it 
was not able to get beyond Picton ; thence the 
next morning train was taken to Blenheim, and 
then an eighty-mile road journey had to be under- 
taken in a two-horse buggy. This drive through 
Marlborough and Havelock occupied two days, 
and at length the travellers arrived just in time 
at Nelson. *' The town lies embosomed amidst 
verdant hills, and is remarkable for its well-kept 
gardens and prolific orchards. This sheltered 
spot enjoys a climate of the mildest sort. A more 
charming place of residence can hardly be imagined. 
It is perhaps the healthiest place in the colony." 
Here the services were excellent, as they also were 
at Richmond, the next town visited. Thence, 
crossing the Straits to Wellington, the journey 
was continued to Wanganui, where the results 
were meagre. " Nevertheless, some of the fruit 


fell at the shaking of the tree, and perhaps more 
of it was helped in ripening for a harvest to be 

At Wellington, the Empire city, in spite of the 
weather and the Wild West Show pitched im- 
mediately opposite the church, good meetings 
gathered, and the Evangelist was glad to work 
alongside the Pastor, Mr. H. H. Driver, who had 
been one of his ship companions in the voyage of 
1885. A journey of two hundred miles brought 
him to Napier and to another happy mission, in 
which the sympathy of all the churches of the 
town was freely given. Toward the end of the 
year 1890 a mission was held at The Catlins — 
Owaki and Puerua, where in addition to the white 
people there is a Maori settlement, and nearly all 
the score or so are consistent Christians. " How 
eagerly these dark-skins listened to the message — 
they said they understood it too, and how heartily 
they sang ! " Toward the close of the mission ' ' just 
where a little creek loses itself in the infinite main, 
four daughters of my Puerua host confessed ' Jesus 
as Lord,' while some who witnessed their bold 
profession were, I trust, resolved to follow their 
example, and Christ's, ere long. As this was the 
first occasion on which I had administered this 
ordinance out in the open, it had a peculiar interest 
for me." 

In quick succession came visits to Canterbury, 
Oxford, Kirwee and Christchurch. At Kirwee 
*' a clergyman, having arranged for a concert and 
a dance (dancing is one of the curses of these up- 
country townships), was not a little dismayed that 


the fiddlers who generally supplied the music had 
been converted and declined to attend." 

Great blessing rested upon the mission at Dune- 
din, " Not only scores, but hundreds, have received 
Christ as their Saviour," said The New Zealand 
Baptist. There were, as a result, forty-eight 
baptisms the following month. Similar grace 
seems to have rested on the meetings at Ponsonby 
during the latter part of June. 

On July 2nd, 1891, Thomas Harold Spurgeon 
was born at Auckland, and later in the month his 
father was at Thames, the workers in the Sunday 
schools of the town largely rejoicing in the result 
of his labours. During August the churches in 
the neighbourhood of Auckland were visited, 
including the Tabernacle, where the former Pastor 
baptized nineteen candidates during his visit. 
Lincoln, Greendale, Malvern and Caversham 
followed in quick succession, and so ended the year, 
and the eighteen months of evangelistic ministry. 

In a little book the names of seven hundred and 
seventy-six persons are noted as fruits of the 
missions, to be remembered and prayed over as 
the days went on. 

Several churches during these months invited 
Mr. Spurgeon to accept the pastorate, including his 
old church in Auckland. To all of them he turned 
a deaf ear. Overtures were also made to him to 
conduct similar services in Australia, but events 
were hastening on which changed the whole course 
of his ministry. 



The family history in England was rapidly 
reaching a climax. Spurgeon was ill. Painful 
illness had often been his lot before, but this was 
recognized as serious. Clouds were over Westwood, 
over the Tabernacle, and over all Evangelical 
Christendom. The clouds grew darker and it 
seemed as if the storm must break, when, doubtless 
in answer to prayer as well as in response to skill 
and affection, the sun shone through and health 
seemed again in sight. But it was only an inter- 
lude, a bright and lovely interlude ; then the dark- 
ness gathered once more, and on the morning of 
the first day of February, eighteen hundred and 
ninety-two, the world learned that the prophet of 
the Lord had passed. Many of the contents-bills 
of the newspapers had only one item upon them 
that morning — " Death of Spurgeon." People 
paused as if stunned, and tears coursed down 
unaccustomed cheeks. There has been nothing to 
compare with it save the afternoon when another 
generation read the news-lines — "" Death of Kit- 
chener." In both cases a star had fallen from the 
sky, and the powers of heaven were shaken. 
Now for the details of the story. Early in May 


Spurgeon was taken ill, but he struggled on preach- 
ing occasionally, until the first Sunday in June. 
That was the last time he was in the Tabernacle. 
Perhaps I may be permitted to recount the in- 
cidents from my own standpoint, as it all came 
home to me in an unexpected way. 

There were two immediate difficulties flowing 
from the illness, which, of course, was itself the 
greatest difficulty of all. The first concerned the 
empty pulpit which, for a while, was well supplied 
by trusted ministers ; the second, the wider 
ministry of the printed sermons. Happily, Mrs. 
Spurgeon's health had improved, and she was able 
to share in the responsibility, and the devoted 
secretary, Joseph W. Harrald, knew the mind of 
his Chief. But other help was needed, and I was 
permitted, in a working agreement with them, to 
take the revision of the weekly sermon. Of this 
task I have already written in my book, At the 
Sixtieth Milestone. Many of these sermons were 
revised at the Manor House, Newton Harcourt, 
in Leicestershire, which had been placed at my 
disposal that summer, and there morning by 
morning, brought along the canal bank by a 
railway porter from Glenn Station, the telegram 
came giving the latest report of the invalid — a 
bundle of thirty lies before me as I write. But 
there came a glad day when the bulletins ceased, 
and then, on occasion, it was necessary for me to 
see the preacher to talk over future plans. 

It was hoped that a visit to Mentone would 
complete the cure, which had been gradually 
welcomed from the beginning of August. So, on 


October 26th, accompanied by his wife, who was 
happily able to undertake the journey, he set forth 
to the place which I believe he loved most in all 
the earth. There they had three months of 
" perfect earthly happiness." Mrs. Spurgeon was 
able to report that "" not a care burdened him, not 
a grief weighed upon his heart, not a desire remained 
unfulfilled, not a wish unsatisfied." He was per- 
mitted to enjoy an earthly Eden before his trans- 
lation to the Paradise above. From that spot, 
at five minutes past eleven at night on the last 
day of January, he went to God. 

Now that all concerned in it are gone, there can 
be no harm in stating that a little while before the 
final summons came Harrald was in the passage 
of the Hotel Beau Rivage, where the end window 
looks toward the hills, and under a cloudless sky 
he declared that he saw, hovering over the Berceau, 
a company of angels. So convinced was he of it 
that he ran to call Mrs. Spurgeon, but when she 
came there was nothing to be seen. His faith in 
his vision remained unshaken to the end. It^is 
easy to say that he was tired and overstrained 
and excited. Perhaps it will be better to put his 
story beside the story of the angels at Mons, and 
there let it stand. 

Of the subsequent days little need be said. 
They are chronicled in the volume I was allowed 
to edit, From the Pulpit to the Palm Branch, Each 
day was crowded with incident. At first there 
was talk of a grave at Mentone, then a hint of a 
tomb in Westminster Abbey, but the officers of the 
Church rightly decided that their Pastor must, in 


death, lie amongst his own people. After the 
memorial service at Mentone, the body was borne 
lumberingly across France, was received by reverent 
hands at Victoria Station, London, brought to the 
Pastors' College, transferred to the Tabernacle, 
visited by fifty thousand people who walked in 
homage past the coffin, crowded services were 
held, and, after the vigil, the funeral passed through 
thronged roads to Norwood Cemetery. It was a 
procession of triumph. At Norwood a memorable 
eulogy and farewell was uttered by Archibald G. 
Brown, who will perhaps be chiefly remembered 
by his words that day. The only music was the 
lilt of a robin, who almost broke his red breast in 
the vehemence of his song as the people parted. 
Near-by the son now rests, and many others of 
God's saints have also been brought there for 
burial. One might say of Norwood Cemetery what 
Moody said of Greyfriars in Edinburgh when he 
read the names of so many of the holy dead, *' I 
should like to be there on the resurrection morning." 
For twelve days the attention of the civilized 
world was centred on Spurgeon's work and memory, 
and in death, as in life, he was able to bear a noble 
testimony to his faith. From the highest to the 
lowest, in cathedral and in cottage, his praise was 
spoken, and God was thanked for so rare a ministry. 
Nor should the outburst of affection shown in the 
prayer meetings at the early stage of the illness 
be forgotten: thousands gathered three times a 
day, there were mighty wrestlings, and some who 
prayed appeared as if they had " searched the 
Bible through and through, in order that they 


might find promises that they might plead at the 
throne of Grace." 

It was not to be supposed that such a man could 
pass without leaving behind him many problems. 
No ship can go forward without a hand on the 
wheel, and the question now became urgent — 
" Whose hand ? " There were at least four who 
seemed to have some claim for consideration. 

First amongst these was Dr. James A. Spurgeon, 
the brother who for so many years had stood as 
Co-Pastor by the great preacher's side. His past 
service, his knowledge of affairs, and his many 
qualities could not be disregarded. He was not a 
prophet, but only by the possession of great 
pastoral gifts could he have gathered and held 
together the great church at West Croydon Taber- 
nacle. But it was evident that though the Church 
needed his service he could not take his brother's 
place ; quite naturally he was looked to for guid- 
ance and support. He could not be overlooked, 
and accordingly at a church meeting on March 1st 
he was requested to serve the Church for a limited 
time as Acting Pastor. 

At the same meeting the brilliant and volatile 
man who had occupied the pulpit for three months 
was asked to continue to act as Officiating Minister. 
He had come at a time of great need, and, throwing 
himself without stint into his task, he had drawn 
vast congregations, maintained the finances, and 
inspired hundreds of lives with new purposes and 
hopes. He was truly a man sent of God to that 
place at that time ; of that there can be no doubt. 
The manner of his coming was curious. When 


Spurgeon was recovering from his illness in August, 
he cast about in his mind as to who could occupy 
his pulpit during the coming months, and remem- 
bering Dr. Pierson, wrote to him inquiring whether 
he would be free to serve him. The very next 
morning after the letter was despatched, a letter 
arrived from Pierson expressing his willingness to 
come if he could help, and Spurgeon at once wrote 
again and invited him. If Pierson had only 
waited he would have had the invitation all the 
same, but his action was characteristic of the man 
in his impulsiveness and disregard of ordinary 
methods. It was not egotism, but the simplicity 
and eagerness of a child which led him to volunteer 
even though it meant measuring himself with the 
greatest preacher of the world, and it was these 
same qualities that were partly the cause of the 
after trouble. I can speak of it quite freely, for I 
came to know him well; he frequently visited 
Leicester in the after years, and more than once 
preached for me at Melbourne Hall, and was 
sometimes present when I was the preacher. 

He was a great Bible student, a missionary 
enthusiast, a facile writer, a magnetic speaker. 
He was always making discoveries, and the quainter 
they were the more he liked them. When he 
thought of a striking thing he could not help saying 
it, and he was so largely the centre of his own 
world that he was rather surprised when he dis- 
covered he was not the centre of other people's. 
But, withal, he was most lovable, and when he 
gave himself to any one he gave himself com- 


Mr. Spurgeon, in inviting him to the Tabernacle, 
did not foresee the difficulty that afterwards arose, 
thought, indeed, that he had provided against it. 
In the last interview I had with him on the eve of 
his departure for Mentone, we talked of many 
things, and, finally, of the coming preacher. As 
he was being carried in his chair up-stairs I followed 
him to the hall, and the last words he said to me, 
looking back, were, " There is no danger of him 
being thought of as my successor, since he is a 
Presbyterian." A saying which opens several 
avenues into his mind at the moment. 

In spite of his Presbyterianism, however, it 
seemed a very good working arrangement to have 
Spurgeon' s brother as pastor and Pierson as 
preacher. But the Tabernacle church is a Baptist 
church, and we had not then begun even to think 
of a federation of the Free Churches. Indeed, if 
we had, it would have been a dubious expedient to 
have a minister of another order than that in which 
people had been trained. We tried the experiment 
when I left Melbourne Hall : a Wesleyan minister 
succeeded me, but in spite of the points of contact 
there are too many points of divergence to make 
such an arrangement easy. 

When the early glamour had somewhat passed 
the question rose — What of Spurgeon' s sons ? 
Neither of them had given any sign or raised any 
question. Charles was near at hand, and if 
Thomas had been an ecclesiastic, or a place-seeker, 
or a Mr. Worldly Wiseman, he would have lost no 
time in coming to England, too. But he did not 
even offer his services, he just went on with his 


work and waited, raising not a finger, and writing 
not a word to secure his recall. It was one of the 
great testing times of life, revealing character and 
trying faith. Only a disciplined heart could have 
answered the test successfully. 

After a year's ministry Dr. Pier son found it 
necessary to return to America. Before he went 
he was invited to come back to the Tabernacle for 
another period, and it seemed fitting that in the 
interval Mr. Thomas Spurgeon should be called 
to occupy his father's pulpit. The thought of 
permanent occupancy seemed barred by the reports 
of his health, but the memory of his preaching in 
former years caused many to look forward to his 
coming with great expectancy. He was asked to 
preach for three months, and he accepted the 
invitation. Mr. Moody was fixed for a mission 
directly afterwards, and then Dr. Pierson was to 
take up the work again. All seemed satisfactorily 

On Friday, June 10th, 1892, with his wife and 
child, Mr. Thomas Spurgeon arrived in London. 
On the following Sunday he was at the Tabernacle. 
The Baptist said, " It was pathetic to see him 
sitting by Dr. Pierson' s side at the Sunday morning 
service, although he took no active part in it." 
The Sunday after he preached at " a service of 
singular impressiveness," from the felicitous text, 
" Behold, the third time I am ready to come to 
you : and I will not be burdensome to you, for I 
seek not yours but you : I will very gladly spend 
and be spent for you." Dr. Pierson sent back his 
good wishes in the message — " After eight days 


His disciples were within and Thomas was with 
them." Such fanciful use of Scripture was common 
at the time, and Dr. Pierson was an adept in it; 
as witness the text with which he had begun his 
Tabernacle ministry a year previously, Peter's 
words to Cornelius, " Wherefore I came to you 
without gainsaying when I was sent for : I ask, 
therefore, with what intent ye have sent for me ? " 

That year had done much for the people, but it 
was a very different type of ministry they had 
enjoyed. When the New Zealand son came, many 
of the congregation began again to detect 
the authentic Spurgeon note, and their hearts 
warmed to the younger preacher. The three 
months passed happily, health was fully main- 
tained, and so greatly did the preacher win his way 
into the hearts of the people that many of them 
asked why he could not stay with them always. 
Towards the end of the term there was a great deal 
of suppressed excitement in the services, and when 
the final sermon was preached on October 9th, 
there was " one of the most remarkable and affect- 
ing scenes which ever occurred at the Metropolitan 
Tabernacle." At the end of the service, amid 
tears, the people called on the preacher to come 
back again, and thronged to shake his hand in 
affectionate farewell. 

The enthusiasm of the people can be imagined 
by the fact that a special steamer, the Empress 
Frederick, was engaged to convey Mr. Spurgeon 
and three hundred or four hundred of his friends on 
October 14th from the Old Swan Pier, London 
Bridge, to Gravesend to join his ship. The Daily 


Chronicle of October 15th, in describing the scene 
said : " Occasionally as the steamer went on, a 
hand would come out of some grimy warehouse 
window to wave a farewell. Then Mr. Spurgeon 
would take his hand from the pocket of his water- 
proof coat, and give his felt hat a hearty swing 
through the air. He rose to the whole affair 

A farewell address was presented to him on 
board, he made a speech, those who had hymn- 
books insisted on getting his autograph in them, 
and then they sang that heart-breaking song, 
" God be with you till we meet again." Again, to 
quote — ■'' The final break in the good-bye not 
unnaturally was the most pathetic, the most 
affecting part of all. But for the absence of the 
Salvationists' colour and the Salvationist music, it 
might have been the parting between General 
Booth and a vesselful of Salvationists. Amongst 
those who gave the final greeting were Charles 
Spurgeon, William Stott, W. J. Mayers, J. W. 
Harrald, and W. Higgs." The first person caught 
sight of on the ss. Kaikoura was Mrs. Thomas 
Spurgeon, holding aloft her little fifteen-months-old 

Several letters descriptive of the voyage have 
been preserved by Mr. William Higgs, to whom they 
were addressed. In the first Mr. Spurgeon says, 
" Now about that trip down the river. I confess 
that I have been a little troubled because I seemed 
to take so much for granted. Yet, believe me, I am 
far from being ungrateful. You have done me good 
at every turn and shown me kindness in every way. 

154 THP: tabernacle TEMPEST 

What a mint of money I must have cost you ! 
What can I say to you ? I can only thank you 
agam, and again and again, and wonder why you 
should love me so. Every turn of the screw 
lessens our nearness to you and increases your 
dearness to us. Try to keep our party patient. 
I must not be a bone of contention. When all 
say come, I must return, but not till then." 

Nearing the Cape he writes in another letter, 
*' You can guess that I often think of the past and 
of the future, too. What an experience I have 
had ! Do you know I don't think I can ever 
return to the dear old Tabernacle ; so I feel at 
present at all events. Friend Moody's invitation 
I cannot forget, yet I cannot bring myself to want 
to accept it." 

In a letter from Dunedin dated January 23rd, 
1893, he says : " It is probable that you will 
receive this just about the time of the annual 
church meeting. What can I say about it ? I 
have told you already my feelings concerning any 
request to supply on probation. The only test 
that should be necessary is a test of health during 
the winter, and nothing but a twelve months' 
pastorate would afford a fair trial of that. I would 
not quit my work here, and sail so far again for 
less than that — at least that is how I feel at present. 
I hear much of Dr. Pierson's splendid preaching, 
and I am unfeignedly glad if real good is being 

For some days after the departure of Thomas 
Spurgeon the energies of the Church were directed 
into the mission conducted by Mr. Moody, and 


after a few weeks its attention was devoted to the 
return of Dr. Pier son, who received a worthy 
welcome. He soon discovered that he had come 
back to a different Church. Without a pilot it had 
drifted. It was impossible, perhaps, for those 
inside the Church to estimate or to avoid the 
danger ; equally impossible for those outside to 
warn or to guide it, lest they should have been 
suspected of interested motives. The disability 
attaching to a Church, even of the size and 
weight of the Church at the Tabernacle, standing 
outside its own denomination, was made evident ; 
there was no official channel of influence, none had 
the right to proffer advice or service ; so the drift 
continued, deflected or hastened for the moment by 
newspaper opinion. 

When two candidates are before a Church the 
usual result is that both find it necessary to retire, 
and the Church that has been unwise enough to 
allow such a contingency, has to fall back on a 
third, probably less suitable than either of the two. 
The alternative is that the Church is divided into 
two parties, one saying, " I am of Paul," and the 
other " I am of Apollos." So it happened at the 
Tabernacle. The Church was not split, for it was 
impossible for any party to inaugurate a new 
assembly worthy of the Spurgeon tradition, but 
the rift in the ranks of the membership went deep, 
even to the severing of family relationships and the 
sundering of lifelong ties . The feeling was so strong 
that the retirement of either candidate would not 
have been a solution. If only the three Spurgeons 
could have been associated in the great enterprises 


left as a heritage by the departed Pastor and 
President, it might have made the Tabernacle the 
Baptist cathedral of Britain. There were other 
possible arrangements if only the minds of the 
people had been normal, but any of them would 
have necessitated the most delicate adjustment 
and called for a single controlling mind. Alas ! the 
great mind that had for so long controlled such 
diverse forces was missing, and for some months 
there was much unrest, freely spoken of as " The 
Tabernacle Tempest." Dr. Pierson still appealed 
to a large congregation, but laid himself open to 
criticism in the Church. The British Weekly was 
perhaps nearest the truth, when about this time 
it said : " Our own belief is that Dr. Pierson has not 
had justice done to him, that he has had bad advice, 
and that his desire has been to act throughout 
with a single mind." 

On March 28th, 1893, the Church emerged like 
a ship that had been through a hurricane, battered 
and shorn, but still seaworthy. In a meeting of 
over two thousand members Mr. Thomas Spurgeon 
was called by a majority of three to one to occupy 
the pulpit for twelve months, this time with a view 
to the pastorate. Dr. James Spurgeon resigned, 
and Dr. Pierson' s engagement terminated. From 
New Zealand Mr. Spurgeon at once cabled, " I 
cheerfully and gratefully accept the invitation," 
and then in the mode of the moment added a 
Scripture reference — " Not that we are sufficient 
of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but 
our sufficiency is of God." 

New heart was taken by the church membership,. 


and in reviewing the situation The Freeman finely 
said in its issue of April 7th : " If they tniss the 
music of the march to which they all kept step in 
former years, they must resolve that its echoes 
shall not be allowed to die into silence." 

Some surprise was expressed at Mr. Spurgeon's 
ready response, but it must be remembered that 
the whole situation had been before his mind for 
months, and as far as he was concerned there was 
no reason for delay, while for the sake of the 
Church a speedy answer was almost necessary. 
Perhaps his position is best set forth in a letter 
which he addressed to Mr. Wilham Olney on 
April 19th ; 

*' It seemed to me that in view of so substantial 
a majority, and specially in view of the earnest 
praying, that I could not decline to come, although 
there are some features of the case which make 
me shrink from the task. 

" Looking at it from every standpoint I con- 
cluded that I ought to make the attempt, and if I 
find that on account of ill-health or for any other 
reason I cannot stay, I hope that no harm will 
come of it, either to the beloved Church or to 
myself. I had some hope that Uncle James would 
see differently and that we could work happily 
together. But it was not to be. Oh ! how I hope 
that this whole business is of the Lord ! May He 
prevent it from coming about after all, if it is not ! 
Cease not to pray for me that I may be fitted to 
bear so high an honour, and to carry on so glorious 
a work." 


Though no public mention was made of it till 
the time of probation was over, it may here be 
recorded, in Thomas Spurgeon's own words, that 
on the last Sunday of his previous visit, when Mr. 
Moody preached in the evening at the Tabernacle, 
'' he had a talk with me in the vestry in which he 
said, ' You are yet to come back to this place, and 
I am going to pray God here and now that it may 
be so.' Now that it has come to pass," Mr. Spur- 
geon continued, " I do not need to keep it secret, as 
I felt when I had the call to come here it was the 
least I could do to go round Moody's way." 

A further letter, written on April 18th, 1893, 
from Ashburton, New Zealand, to Mr. William 
Higgs, gives a vista into his heart at this time. 

" My dear good Friend, 

'' I feel as if I could hardly write to you — 
my heart is so full. 'Tis done — the great transac- 
tion's done. The die is cast and the engagement 
made. O Lord 1 bless Thou this — from first to 
last ! I could not say Nay ; even though the 
experiment will not be thoroughly successful. If 
I only stay a year I may, by God's help, be able 
during those twelve months to bring about a more 
desirable state of things. God grant it ! 

'' I am receiving congratulations on all sides, on 
account of this great honour which has come upon 
me; and no wonder. I stand amazed that I am 
counted worthy of such a call, and I cast myself 
at my dear Master's feet, a suppliant for fitness 
for the work. ' O use me, Lord, use even me ! ' 
" Your loving friend, 

" Tom Spurgeon." 


Accordingly, in the Alameda he arrived in San 
Francisco on June 8th, exactly three weeks after 
setting sail from New Zealand. Some articles 
descriptive of his experiences appeared in The 
Sword and Trowel for the year 1893, but a more 
intimate narrative is available in several letters to 
his wife written on the journey. The first, dated 
" May 23rd, a day's sail from Samoa," gives a de- 
scription of the ship and passengers. " As there is 
no second-class we have a good many second-rate 
people in the first cabin." Then he describes a 
number of music people. As they were journeying 
eastward an extra day was added ; "we have 
more evenings than appears, for the Monday was 
repeated." The clergyman who conducted the 
first Sunday service asked Spurgeon to take the 
next. A sentence interesting to his biographer 
comes next, " There is one nice American, however ; 
he is a Baptist, and was lately in the Metropolitan 
Tabernacle and heard FuUerton." 

" I am not sure that I shall leave the boat at 
Samoa, for the captain, in a chatty lecture last 
evening, declared Apia to be ' the hottest place on 
earth,' " he says ; but he did, for the first sentence 
in the letter of " May 29th over the line," is, " our 
run ashore at Apia brought us unalloyed delight." 
Even a prospective pastor of the Tabernacle may 
be allowed to change his mind. A school festival 
at which some six hundred men, women, and 
children were present, the children with beautiful 
eyes and copper-coloured skin, hugely delighted 
him. " I conducted last Sunday morning's 
service, and the captain, a real old believer. 


ventured in. It was a good time, all things con- 

At Honolulu he stayed long enough to preach, 
and at San Francisco spent some pleasant hours, 
being " quite bewildered with its bustle." Delayed 
by an accident in the Sierra mountains, he was late 
in arriving at Salt Lake City. " I tried to remain 
incognito, but some fellow passengers split on me, 
and soon the Baptist ministry was on my trail." 
And that Sunday evening he preached. At Denver, 
which he reached by the Rio Grande Railway with 
its wonderful scenery, he visited a Sunday School 
Convention but hid his identity, and at Omaha 
made another pause. 

At Chicago Moody was on the look-out for him, 
and he was able to speak to the crowds that 
thronged " The World's Fair." His host pressed 
him to stay for the Northfield Convention, and the 
Christian Endeavour Convention at Montreal, but, 
in view of the work that awaited him, he was wise 
enough to refuse. Niagara he reports as " beating 
all that there is at the Exhibition." On July 1st 
he reached Brooklyn and went to stay with the Rev. 
A. C. Dixon, " who invited me over some years ago 
— such a dear good fellow. He and his wife 
lavished kindness on me. I preached for him last 
Sunday morning to a teeming crowd ; in the 
evening I went over to New York to preach for Dr. 
MacArthur, whose marvellously beautiful church 
was thronged to suffocation." 

Of that visit Dr. Dixon, in his memorial sermon 
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on October 28th, 
1918, said ; " When, about twenty-three years ago, 


I heard that Thomas Spurgeon was in America, I 
hastened to invite him to preach in my Brooklyn 
pulpit and sojourn in our home. His acceptance of 
the invitation gave the pastor's family and the 
Church great pleasure, and when the hour for the 
Sunday morning service arrived, the house was 
crowded to its utmost capacity, and hundreds, if 
not thousands, were turned away disappointed. It 
was the reputation of C. H. Spurgeon which, for the 
most part, drew the people ; but after the sermon, 
all felt that there would be in future no need of 
another's reputation to attract the people of 
Brooklyn to hear Thomas Spurgeon preach. His 
text was : ' I have need to be baptized of Thee, 
and comest Thou to me ? ' — and I have rarely seen 
an audience more deeply moved. His humble, 
unassuming manner, his heart-earnestness, his clear 
unfolding of the text, his homely and happy 
illustrations, his musical voice, his utter dependence 
upon the Holy Spirit, and, above all, his exaltation 
of the Lord Jesus Christ as pre-eminent in all 
realms, made us realize that we were listening to a 
truly great sermon by a truly great preacher. That 
July morning Thomas Spurgeon entered our hearts 
never to be expelled. We had esteemed him for 
his father's sake ; we now admired and loved him 
for his own sake. The closer touch of our home 
associations for a week, which brought out the 
exceeding winsomeness of his character, increased 
our admiration and intensified our love. When he 
left, we felt that we were parting with a real friend, 
whose friendship it would ever be an honour and 
delight to cultivate. When, a few years afterwards, 


my wife and I had the joy of spending a week in 
his London home, we felt that we were visiting old 
friends, whose hospitality had such a flavour of 
heartiness, kindliness, and delicate attention that 
we rejoiced to have our first taste of a real English 
home — the little Paradise of which we had heard 
so much, and were now permitted to enjoy." 

He was still with the Dixons on the " glorious 
fourth," and toward the end of the week visited 
Boston and Plymouth, " to see the ground where 
first they trod — ^those pilgrims of whom you used 
to sing so sweetly." The next Sunday he preached 
at Martha's Vineyard, where at the close of the 
service an old lady rose and asked to say a few 
words. She asked the congregation to stand en 
masse to show their appreciation, and it did. On 
the Tuesday he lectured in Calvary Church, New 
York, and the next day set sail on the Majestic for 
Liverpool. " Every baby and child I see reminds 
me of mine, you queen of all the earth." 

In a letter written during the Atlantic voyage, 
he says ; "I am already exercised as to my first 
sermon at the Tabernacle. ' Thy way is in the sea,' 
asks to be preached from, but I cannot make it 
go : perhaps it will come ere it is really wanted." 
Then perhaps the veil of family life may be lifted 
far enough to allow the quotation of these sentences, 
" There is discipline in this separation. Learn its 
lessons and so rejoice in tribulation. As for our 
little ones, you are wise and loving and will train 
them for God. Oh ! that the line of saints, aye, 
and of preachers too, may be maintained. You 
are already the mother of an angel ; if God sees fit 


to make your son an apostle won't it be glorious ? 
And why not ? " 

On July 27th he arrived at Sussex Lodge, 
Clapham, the charming residence of Mr. and Mrs. 
William Higgs, who have always been his staunchest 
friends. Here he was destined to be entertained, 
much to his satisfaction, until December 11th. 

His ministry at the Tabernacle began on 
July 30th, the Sunday after his arrival, when he 
preached, not on God's way in the sea, as he had 
purposed, but appropriately enough on Christ's 
call to the two brothers beside the Sea of Galilee. 
Preparation for this new chapter of Church history 
had been made during the previous month by a 
series of prayer meetings ; the Tabernacle itself 
had been newly painted ; and August was ushered 
in with hope. 



The ministry which then began was destined to 
continue for fourteen years, but at first it was only 
to be a prolonged experiment. On the Monday 
morning Mr. Spurgeon had a cordial greeting from 
the press. The Sun contained an article on 
" Spurgeon, Junior," in which it was said " that 
the Metropolitan Tabernacle was packed from floor 
to ceiling." The prayer meeting on the Monday 
evening lacked nothing in enthusiasm. Mr. T. H. 
Olney took the chair at first, to welcome the 
preacher ; when he vacated it the new leader was 
welcomed with applause and the waving of hand- 
kerchiefs. " I never prayed the Lord to bring 
me here," Mr. Spurgeon said, " I never found it 
in my heart to ask Him to put me in this place 
even for twelve months. I thought I did better 
by just putting myself in God's hands, saying, 
' Send by whom Thou wilt send.' Therefore, when 
you sent for me I felt obliged to come." 

The chief interest centred, of course, in his 
preaching. Perhaps an extract from The Christian 
Weekly may help our judgment. " Thomas Spur- 
geon has a command of good Saxon, which he 
knows how to use with effect. The cultured 



simpleness of speech which conveys all the rich 
variety of feeling and phrase — ^the rhythm that 
gives a suggestion of poetry, the happy combination 
of phrases imparting a quality of radiance that 
gives oratorical glimpses of new meanings and 
ampler views — are within his reach. The common 
people will listen with ease, for he speaks their 
language. When last year he stood in the sacred 
place for the first time he unconsciously courted 
comparison with the prince of phrase-makers by 
approximation to his style. In voice and in a 
few familiar gestures he recalls the dead." 

But lest we should get a one-sided view another 
verdict may be recalled. A writer in The Freeman 
a few weeks after said : "I knew of course that I 
was going to hear his son, Thomas Spurgeon. If 
I had not known this beforehand I should not 
have discovered it in the service. There are some 
small matters in the manner of the son, which with 
a Httle ingenuity you can trace back to the father, 
and yet how different ! In fact, I was pleased to 
find that there was not in the son one particle of 
mimicry of his father. Whatever Thomas Spur- 
geon may be he is himself — a distinct individuahty 
— as his father was himself the most striking 
personality of his day. I observed in the son, it 
is true, the same fervid delight in the doctrines of 
grace, the same directness of address to God in 
prayer, the same textual treatment of the subject, 
the same mighty trust in God, the same clearness 
of enunciation in delivery that distinguished his 
father, and for all this I honour him." 

The most picturesque description is, however, 


to be found in the columns of The Daily News for 
October 3rd, 1892, and although the reference is 
to the preliminary visit the previous year, the 
informed and sympathetic impression it gives may 
correct and reconcile the two already quoted : 

" Outsiders may be permitted to look on, and 
there can be no impropriety in our expressing the 
opinion that no impartial onlooker can fail to 
understand the desire that has arisen for another 
Spurgeon in the pulpit, as they sit and listen to 
the son of their late revered minister. The huge 
building yesterday, notwithstanding the wet, was 
quite full, and to the stranger taking his seat in the 
midst of the human mass piled two galleries high, 
before and behind, on the right hand and on the 
left, it looked to be very doubtful whether that 
rather young-looking man standing out prominently 
on the rostrum, which serves for a pulpit at the 
Tabernacle, could possibly hold the great concourse 
of people. 

"Mr. Thomas Spurgeon is not quite so young 
as he looks : as a matter of fact he is thirty-seven 
years of age, and seen from the floor of the Taber- 
nacle he looks to be about his father's height, 
though somewhat slighter in build. As the great 
volume of the rather crude unaccompanied music, 
in which the preacher seemed to be heartily joining, 
died down, and his voice rose clear and distinct 
in the reading of the Scriptures, it was quite easy 
to understand the fervour with which many of the 
congregation had caught up the suggestion that 
he should be their pastor. Seen from the midst 
of the congregation he is not very dissimilar in 


appearance from his father. There is the frock 
coat, the Httle black tie, the quiet self-possessed 
demeanour, the clear, studied articulation ; a voice, 
not quite that of Charles Spurgeon, not quite so 
strong and not quite so musical, so marvellously 
expressive and flexible, as his father's, but clear 
and pleasant and melodious, and with many of the 
late pastor's modulations and inflexions. 

" When presently, after the manner of the great 
preacher, he breaks off from the chapter he is 
reading and begins to comment upon it, it im- 
mediately becomes apparent that he has the same 
ready fluency of speech, the same easy, familiar 
style of address, and when he announces his text 
and plunges into his sermon, he soon shows himself 
not altogether lacking in the racy way of putting 
things, the terse and vigorous English, and the 
strong sense of humour that were so characteristic 
of the Tabernacle pulpit for many a long year. 

" Many of the gifts of his father — ^though no 
doubt in smaller measure — he certainly possesses, 
and every here and there one might have shut one's 
eyes and fancied that it was the old pastor back 
again. When it is added that in doctrinal matters 
the son appears very accurately to echo the father, 
and not only avowed his unfaltering adherence to 
the ' old ways,' but every now and again displayed 
touches of the characteristic narrowness — or what 
many persons regarded as narrowness — of the 
famous preacher before him, it must be apparent 
that the agitation for his appointment is not only 
intelligible, but the most natural thing in the world. 

" Most decidedly Thomas Spurgeon is a chip of 


the old block. It has been publicly stated that he 
himself would like to occupy the vacant post. 
Nothing seems more probable. He is living at 
present in the old house at Norwood, and he finds 
himself with a great and honoured name, with 
troops of friends, and an immense sphere of in- 
fluence waiting to be filled. Whether he is the 
best man to fill it — having regard to his health and 
strength amongst other things — is a matter entirely 
for the Church to decide. He himself made no 
direct allusion to the question of appointment 
during yesterday morning's service, but he prayed 
with great earnestness that all their decisions 
might be arrived at in all charity and brotherhood, 
and the subdued ' Amens ' that rose from every 
part of the great congregation displayed the depth 
of the existing feeling." 

Though it was written almost ten years later 
the following letter from Dr. Theodore L. Cuyler 
will reinforce a sentence in the last extract . Writing 
from 176, Oxford Street, Brooklyn, on May 13th, 
1903, he says : 

" Well-beloved Brother, 

" I have just read with intense delight your 
fresh, sunny, and meaty address to the Pastors' 
College. When I had finished it I said to myself, 
' This is not a chip of the old block — it is the old 
block itself.' Your blessed father lives again in 
every racy line, and in the spiritual unction of the 

" Give my earnest love to your dear mother, and 
tell her that she can bear a great deal of sickness 


as long as God is giving her such a son to carry on 
her husband's glorious work. 

" My precious wife and I have lately celebrated 
our golden wedding with an inflow of congratula- 
tions and some generous gifts. May you and your 
dear Australian spouse live to stand on the same 
delectable mount on your road to the Celestial 

" My health is not vigorous but I am often in 
various pulpits, and on the platform of religious 
societies, and the papers kindly say, ' with the 
same old force and fire.' (When these two Fs 
give out, then I want to be off Home.)" 

Then with a paragraph about Mr. Sankey's 
illness, he ends ; " Send me a few lines when you 
can, and always think of me as your devotedly 
loving American brother in Christ Jesus," 

" Theodore L. Cuyler." 

" Thomas Spurgeon." 

Some letters to his wife, written about this time, 
which I have been permitted to examine, throw 
side-lights on the events of these months. They 
are mostly written from Sussex Lodge, and, of 
course, are in a very intimate strain. 

On August 3rd, 1873, just after his arrival, he 
reports : "I am in the richest and sweetest of 
clover. ... I must just record the fact that we 
have had a most delightful trip across the Atlantic. 
... On Sunday, in Manchester, we went to hear 
Dr. Maclaren and enjoyed a wonderful treat. He 
was pleased to see me at the close of the service and 
spoke many words of cheer. , . . I was awfully 


delighted at the success of my letter to Harold. I 
had thought that he would not care to hear it more 
than once or twice. You will be sick to death of 
it before the next reaches you. 

" Now for some tidings of Tom himself. The 
day after my arrival {i.e. on Friday evening) I 
attended the week's special prayer -meeting. I 
came in as they were singing ' There is a fountain.' 
But they all stopped in the midst of a line, and 
shouted and cheered and clapped and waved. 
Then they sang ' Praise God.' The lecture hall 
was packed, and such earnest prayers ! I spoke 
at some length amidst the greatest possible en- 
thusiasm, and after the meeting had at least seven 
hundred handshakes. 

" On Sunday, feeling very much my position, I 
struggled through. There were huge congregations 
and great interest, but I was anxious and nervous 
and ill at ease. On Monday, though I had re- 
quested that there should be no demonstration, 
thousands came to the prayer meeting. I was 
greatly helped to speak. I kept them in roars of 
laughter, and yet maintained the solemn and de- 
votional character of the meeting. Last night 
(Thursday) there must have been three thousand 
present, so we have truly made a good beginning. 
Praise ye the Lord ! As soon as the Sunday ser- 
vices were over I felt much relieved and better in 
every way." 

On August 11th, he writes : " My second Sunday 
was much more pleasant (to myself) than the first. 
The crowds were almost as great, and I felt free 
and less constrained." 


On September 1st : " We had a first-rate day 
last Sabbath. Dr. John Hall, of New York, was 
with us in the evening : he came down to the 
Communion service and spoke a bit. ... I have paid 
two or three more visits to the sculptor and he has 
at last finished the clay model. I lay claim to a 
good deal of the credit for what success has been 
achieved. The sculptor never even saw dear 
father, and was quite prepared to accept my hints. 
He entirely altered the bust at my suggestion. 
On Thursday I was studying all morning ; at four 
I was at the Tabernacle and saw no less than 
thirteen applicants, some of them resulting from 
the previous Sunday's sermons. Praise ye the 
Lord ! — ^this is best of all." 

On September 8th : " Last Sunday was quite a 
memorable day with us. Some adversaries have 
complained of the morning's sermon, but the Lord 
has owned it. In the evening Mr. Thomas Olney 
received me into the Church with words which 
could not have been more appropriate, and then I 
received thirty-nine others ! " 

On December 29th : " I have now quite settled 
down at Jubilee House, at the back of the Taber- 
nacle, and my little den looks quite cheery and 
home-like. It is a grand institution, for I feel so 
much more like work in a workshop. My little 
stay at West wood was very pleasant, and I think 
mother enjoyed it, too. My way is still hidden from 
me. I know not what to do. The officers, too, are 
puzzled as to how to proceed. The most of them 
are prepared to recommend the Church to invite 
me forthwith, but I'm not at all sure they're right. 


" I sometimes think I must ask you to come to 
Old England, even if I do not remain at the Taber- 
nacle, so dearly do I long to see you. Yet I must 
not do it until it is plain either that I tarry at the 
Tabernacle, or decide to work somewhere else in 
England. Really, I can't see that it is likely I can 
work again in New Zealand. May the Lord grant 
us a happy home of our own again in the place that 
He appoints ! 

" Meanwhile He will care for us, and even our 
trials — and you have had many — will not cause us 
to lose faith in Him, but rather to trust the more 
I put you all again into His loving arms." 

As the months passed the issue cleared. Those 
who desired Dr. Pierson to be the minister became 
less in number but more decided in tone. A 
correspondence was carried on in The Daily Chron- 
icle, as to " Who shall succeed Mr. Spurgeon ? " 
and the religious papers, especially The Baptist , 
discussed the matter freely. All this kept attention 
on the Tabernacle, where the congregations were 
wonderfully maintained, and Mr. Spurgeon grew 
in forcefulness of delivery and acquired a new ease 
of style. When the end of 1893 came, it was found 
that two hundred persons had been baptized, and 
that the contributions of the Tabernacle Church 
to the Pastors' College had been £1,600, only £400 
less than the year before. 

So marked was the success, that, instead of 
waiting for the expiry of the twelve months, a 
special meeting of the Church was called for 
March 21st, 1894, to consider the resolution, " That 
Mr. Thomas Spurgeon, having supplied the pulpit 


with a view to the pastorate for eight months, be 
now elected pastor." Mr. William Higgs moved 
the resolution, declaring that the election of 
Thomas Spurgeon would fulfil his father's dearest 
wish, who had only mentioned the names of two 
men as likely to succeed him, and " Son Tom's " 
was the first. " When I die," he said, " of course 
the Church will send for Tom." 

Mr. William Olney gave five reasons why he 
should be elected — that he preached Christ cruci- 
fied, that his sermons were so largely illustrative and 
therefore appealed to the people, that already his 
ministry among them had the seal of God, that he 
worked harmoniously with his uncle; and so, with a 
Spurgeon at the head of the College and Orphanage, 
and a Spurgeon in the Tabernacle, it would be 
like old times back again, and that the various 
works connected with the Church were all pros- 
pering. There were nearly three thousand persons 
present, the counting of the votes occupied an 
hour, and then the report was made, amidst much 
enthusiasm, that 2,127 had voted for the resolution 
and 649 against it. The best comment on these 
figures was that of The British Weekly, " The 
minority is considerable, the majority is decisive." 

Mr. Spurgeon was at St. Leonards at the time, 
and Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Hall, now of Toronto, 
who were then his host and hostess, recall the scene 
in their home when the telegram arrived giving 
the result. " Of the hallowed hour, late at night, 
when we passed to him the telegram from London 
conveying the news of his being chosen by the 
great Metropolitan Church as successor to his 


illustrious father, we cannot trust ourselves to 
write. Nor dare we speak of the great prayer 
which followed. Our eyes were dim with tears 
when we arose from our knees ; and it is one of 
the most sacred privileges of life to remember that 
our ears were permitted to hear those wonderful 
petitions which must have gone so direct to God's 

This, perhaps, is the best place to say that a 
very intimate and true friendship existed between 
the Halls and Spurgeon. A week before the 
decisive Church meeting, for instance, he wrote to 
them : "I thank God that you are willing to 
shelter me. I thank you, too. May He shelter 
me in His pavilion from the strife of tongues that 
is besetting me before and behind just now. It is 
terrible, and the mist grows thicker, yet ' when we 
halt no track discovering, etc' " In a letter a 
week after there occurs the sentence, " I cannot 
say I feel triumphant over my acceptance " ; and, 
as a sample of his love of metaphor, another letter 
to the Halls may be quoted, though it is perhaps 
out of place here. On February 21st, 1895, he 
writes : " To-day I have ventured out of my snug 
moorings in Blanket Bay, and am having a short 
cruise in Dining-Room Harbour ; but I am not 
in racing trim yet, I can assure you. Cordage is 
slack, the ballast has shifted, and some of the sails 
seem rent." 

Mr. Spurgeon accepted the call in a lengthy 
letter which was read to a large meeting of the 
Church on April 2nd. One sentence of it runs : 
" In humble and absolute dependence on Divine 


aid, and counting on the earnest and affectionate 
co-operation of officers and members, and hoping 
for the prayers not of these only, but of Christians 
the world over, I do accept the position to which 
you have invited me, with its glorious privileges, its 
stupendous tasks, and its solemn responsibilities." 
Taking the chair as Pastor of the Church he closed 
his speech by reading a letter which he had had 
in his possession for years, written by his father 
in 1885, in which he said, " Get very strong, and 
when I am older and feebler be ready to take my 

Ten days afterwards a public meeting was held 
in the Tabernacle, such as could only be matched 
at C. H. Spurgeon's Jubilee. Nearly two thousand 
persons sat down to tea, and at seven o'clock, when 
Mr. Thomas Olney took the chair, the vast building 
was crowded in every part. A few friends who 
wished to show their gratitude to God " for the 
election of their dear pastor," had subscribed £100, 
which was handed to Mr. Spurgeon to be used 
entirely as he pleased. He handed it at once to 
the treasurer of the Church " for those institutions 
that are in most necessitous case just now," and 
then made a speech which The Christian Common- 
wealth praised as a most able utterance, reporting 
it in ecctenso. 

This settlement meant the retirement, instant 
or gradual, of a considerable number who had 
become involved in opposition to Mr. Spurgeon, 
some of whom could ill be spared ; but the bulk of 
the membership were ready to welcome the old 
pastor's son as the new pastor, and so the second 


phase of the Spurgeon era began. The pubUc 
voice was given in The Echo of March 30th, 1894 : 
" During the trying period through which he has 
just passed he held himself aloof from all partisan- 
ship, giving evidence of a modesty and self-restraint 
which must have made a favourable impression 
even on his opponents. His refraining from 
bringing his wife and child to England, lest it might 
seem that he had come to stay, is a case in point. 
Take him for all in all, ' Son Tom ' is probably the 
nearest approach to the ' prince of preachers ' to 
be found amongst the younger generation of Baptist 

The same year witnessed another very interesting 
gathering. In the summer Mr. Spurgeon invited his 
people to meet him at the Stockwell Orphanage 
on July 14th. " You have welcomed me before," 
he said, " at least half of me. I want you to 
welcome the other half of me on Friday afternoon." 
Mrs. Spurgeon and the two children, who had been 
left behind in New Zealand, had made the journey 
to England in safety. In one of his sermons her 
husband tells how he waited impatiently at Ply- 
mouth when her boat was due, and with what joy 
he had welcomed her on her arrival. 

At the Orphanage meeting Mr. Thomas Olney, 
who presided, told him that they were all proud of 
him, and with much satisfaction reported that not 
only were the congregations well maintained, but 
that there was " a feeling of unity in the Church 
that we could scarcely have hoped for a few months 
ago." Then, in the name of his friends, about 
five hundred of whom had contributed, he handed 


Mr . Spurgeon a cheque for £350 . At the Tabernacle 
welcome the pastor had given to the works of the 
Church the £100 then presented, but this time, in 
view of the establishment of a new home, he 
frankly said that he felt justified in keeping their 
gift for his own uses, which was quite the desire 
of those who had given it. 

At the beginning of the next year a series of very 
interesting services were held at the Tabernacle, 
with the intent of reaching various sections of the 
people, and on the last evening, in wintry weather, 
some fifty meetings were held in the homes of the 
members; the average attendance seems to have 
been about a score — " not a bad record," says 
The Sword and Trowel, " for such a night." The 
church meeting the following year, 1896, seems to 
have been of a very delightful character, the area 
and the first gallery of the vast building being 
nearly filled. " It must have greatly encouraged 
and cheered the pastor," says The Sword and 
Trowel, "to be assured again and again in the 
most unmistakable manner that the heart of the 
Church at the Tabernacle beats as true to him as 
it did to his beloved father." 

That such was abundantly the case can be 
gathered from a letter, addressed to the Halls, in 
which he " let himself go." 

February 2(ith, 1896. 

" My dear Friends, 

" How I would like to be able to tell you all 
the details of last night's meeting. I was led in 
triumph all the time — i,e, gracing my Lord's 


triumph and triumphing in His grace. We had 
hundreds more than were expected to tea, and as 
large a church meeting as (if not larger than) ever. 
I spoke boldly, as I ought to speak, re loyalty, etc., 
and was cheered to the echo. The utmost enthusi- 
asm prevailed ! ! Every speaker made kindliest 
reference to myself, and my hands are doubtless 
greatly strengthened. It was a sight and time 
never to be forgotten. 

"Mr. Higgs made a splendid speech, ostensibly 
about Thomas Olney, but in reality more about 
T. S. He said T. H. O. had seen C. H. S.'s enemies 
discomfited — their arrows missing the mark or 
falling blunted from his shield, or returning to the 
heart of the archers. ' I believe,' said he, ' that 
Mr. Olney will live to see history repeat itself in 
the case of Great-Heart's son — ^himself a great- 
heart, too.' Oh my ! wasn't there a rumpus of 
dehght I 

" When it came to the proposal as to an assistant 
pastor all still went well. Never have I been so 
helped to speak. I became a fool in glorying. 
I insisted that I had toiled my utmost, that it was 
part of the bargain that I should have help ; that 
I had hesitated till now as some had already proved 
that they would be content with none unless of 
their own choosing. I insisted also that the 
selection must be my own — the election theirs. 
When I told them that the deacons and elders and 
pastor combined to recommend Mr. Sawday (for 
a year), there was manifest approval. 

" When I declared the proposal carried ' by an 
overwhelming majority ' there was another huUa- 


baloo, and I had a private one inside ! Didn't we 
sing ' Praise God,' — ^that's all. So we've got a 
new start, and my heart singeth for joy, and my 
eyes stream with tears of thankfulness. 

" Pardon the length of this Hallelujah harangue. 
I'd hug you both if I could for very joy. I'm sure 
the agitation helped to this issue, and your letters 
played their part. Fare ye well." 

" Yours, 
" Thomas Spurgeon." 

So four years' pastorate happily passed. They 
were not without their trials, but joy was in the 
ascendant. Honour on honour was heaped on the 
minister of the Tabernacle. At the College Public 
Meeting on May 1st, 1896, Dr. James A. Spurgeon 
suddenly resigned the Presidency of the College, 
on the ground of loyalty to the Trust Deed, which 
stated that the college existed to train men for the 
Particular Baptist denomination, and should, 
therefore, be associated with that denomination. 
When Thomas Spurgeon rose there was long-con- 
tinued cheering ; it was known that he took an 
opposite view, but he simply said : " Dear friends, 
I should be sorry if this meeting assumed the form 
of a demonstration — and I regret to have to use 
the words — on either side. I am not going to reply 
to the remarks that have been made." And so," 
says The Baptist, " in one half -minute we had 
passed the quicksands." An admirable instance 
of tact. As a consequence of the withdrawal of his 
uncle, Thomas Spurgeon became president of the 
College, and shortly afterwards was elected president 


of the Orphanage, and of the Colportage Society, 
too. He entered fully into his father's heritage, 
for (though it is anticipating) he also became 
editor of The Sword and Trowel in 1902. His 
sermons were reported week by week in Word and 
Work and in The Christian Signal ; his services 
were sought for far and wide, his health seemed to 
be re-established, and everything bade fair for a 
prosperous future, when on the morning of April 
20th, 1898, there suddenly came the great catas- 
trophe — the Tabernacle was burnt to the ground. 



The College burned the Tabernacle down. All 
sorts of rumours were in circulation at the beginning 
as to the cause of the fire ; it was said that some 
fanatic had set the building alight because he 
thought that no voice but that of C. H. Spurgeon 
was worthy to be heard within its sacred walls ; 
that the spirit of faction was so strong that it even 
led to arson, and so on. The simple explanation, 
however, was just a defective flue. The Pastors' 
College Conference was in session, and a dinner for 
some four hundred ministers was being prepared 
in the Tabernacle basement. The fire for cooking 
overheated a flue, which set some dry exposed 
wood alight, and the disaster occurred. The fire 
was caused by the cooking, the cooking by the 
Conference, and the Conference by the College. So 
we may say that if there had been no college there 
would have been no fire. 

Superstitious people laid some stress on the 
fact that Old Moore's Almanack for the year 
predicted that, in the middle of April, " the de- 
struction of a famous building by fire may be 
expected about this time. Insurance will cover 
the actual cost, but historical associations, alas I 



have no money equivalent." Practical people were 
scandalized that when the fire was first discovered 
in the top gallery there was not even a fire bucket 
ready to quench an outbreak that at first could 
easily have been conquered by a few quarts of 
water. Sympathetic people mourned that the 
place consecrated by such a ministry of the Gospel 
should be doomed to sudden destruction, and 
wondered as to the future. 

The fire was first discovered about half-past 
twelve on Wednesday morning, April 20th, 1898 ; 
in half an hour the roof fell in, and at a quarter-past 
two o'clock the Tabernacle was burnt out. The 
event was published to the whole world : all the 
newspapers and illustrated journals took notice 
of it, and pictures abounded of the havoc the fire 
had made. The best description of the scene 
appeared in The Daily Telegraph the next morning. 
Same of the paragraphs are reproduced : 

" The first notification that something was wrong 
appears to have been given by some people occupy- 
ing shops facing the Tabernacle, who remarked 
that smoke was issuing from a corner of the front 
portion of the roof. A few minutes later persons 
were seen leaving the premises in a state of great 
alarm, and in less than a quarter of an hour the 
vast edifice was blazing like tinder. The fire 
commenced in the gallery, attacked the roof, and 
then literally encircled the building until every 
portion, from top to basement, was a prey to the 

'" A clergyman who witnessed the scene from a 
neighbouring roof states that within twenty 


minutes of the first alarm the place was like a 
seething cauldron. All the windows had been 
broken, the flames were leaping forth in every 
direction, and above all was the fierce crackling 
of timber, the roar of a vast conflagration, fanned 
fiercer and fiercer by a gentle breeze. 

" It would be impossible to exaggerate the scene 
of excitement in Newington Butts during the pro- 
gress of the conflagration. The first measure 
adopted by the police was to stop all trams and to 
divert the omnibus traffic. Vehicles going from 
Blackfriars Bridge to the Elephant and Castle were 
unable to continue their journey beyond the 
Obelisk. In the neighbourhood of the Tabernacle 
many thousands of people soon assembled, and the 
spectacle which was presented to them, though 
painful, had many picturesque features. The 
breeze was sufficiently strong to stimulate the 
power of the flames, but not to dispel the great 
volumes of smoke which hung like a canopy at 
some distance above the doomed building. The 
gloom of the day only served to heighten the effect. 
In spite of tons of water which were hurled by the 
steamers upon the great temple, the hose being 
directed from all the neighbouring roofs and from 
every conceivable point of vantage, the fire burnt 
like a gigantic furnace. Columns of flame shot 
from every side, the great fa9ade and Corinthian 
pillars, built of stone, were lapped and encircled 
by the fire, and then, at a time when it seemed 
impossible that the din could be more terrific or 
the conflagration fiercer, the majestic roof crashed 
to the ground. It fell with a terrible noise, like 


the sound of big artillery, and immediately after- 
wards the flames burst with renewed vigour and 
showers of sparks ascended. 

'' Soon after the roof came down the firemen 
had the outbreak well in hand, and by two o'clock 
no danger was to be apprehended. Nothing re- 
mained of the Tabernacle — which was built at a 
cost of £31,362, and opened in May, 1861, free of 
debt — but the blackened walls. The fa9ade stood 
forth as usual, except for the grime caused by the 
smoke and heat, but the interior of the building 
was simply a mass of charred woodwork. The 
great iron pillars which had supported the galleries 
were still to be seen, but the heat had played strange 
pranks with them. One was literally twisted into 
a spiral, and the shapes of all were grotesque. 
Every vestige of furniture was destroyed : the 
great iron safes containing many valuable papers 
were kept on the premises, and these, it is believed, 
will be safely recovered. The Communion plate, 
and various important records kept in the offices 
at the back of the Tabernacle, were happily removed 
without injury." 

Not only the valuable Communion service, but 
the oil portraits of the previous pastors of the 
Church were fortunately saved. A marble bust of 
C. H. Spurgeon which adorned the vestry was also 
spared. The deacons tried to drag it away from 
the flames, but it proved too heavy, so they removed 
it from its pedestal, covered it with a carpet, and 
hoped for the best. It survived, stained so deeply 
that its original whiteness cannot be restored, and 
it stands to-day a memorial of the fiery ordeal 


through which it has passed. It was this bust 
which called forth one of Mr. Spurgeon's caustic, 
yet humorous remarks, in the old days : when it 
was presented to him he thanked the donors but 
declared that he did not want to be busted. 

Many other unexpected things escaped the 
ravages of the flames. I have a cancelled cheque, 
made out in my name for a month's allowance in 
my old mission days, which defied the scorching 
heat, long after the money it represented had 
melted away. 

Almost as if by magic the deacons had printed 
announcements displayed that the Thursday meet- 
ing of the College would be held in Exeter Hall, 
and before three o'clock on Friday those bills had 
been removed, and others displayed giving notice 
that the Sunday services would also be held there. 
Other buildings had been offered, including Christ 
Church, which Mr. Meyer generously placed at 
Mr. Spurgeon's disposal, but it was felt that, if 
for nothing else than old associations' sake, the 
historic hall in the Strand was best suited for the 

On the Sunday morning the congregation filled 
the building. Many were in tears as in his opening 
prayer Mr. Spurgeon quoted the verse : " For we 
know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle 
were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house 
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 
The appropriate text was Isaiah Ixiv. 11, 12 : " Our 
holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers 
praised Thee, is burned up with fire ; and all our 
pleasant things are laid waste. Wilt Thou refrain 


Thyself for these things, O Lord ? Wilt Thou 
hold Thy peace and afflict us very sore ? " 

During the sermon the preacher said, " We have 
lost a good many things as well as the structure. 
We are sorry that the table on the platform is no 
more, and that the Bible into which my dear father 
so often looked is now in blackened pieces. We 
are sorry that your hymn-books and Bibles, which 
you had stored in so many places, have ceased to 
be. It is a pity that we have lost the little child's 
chair in which my father used to sit as a boy, and 
where my own children were so pleased to seat 
themselves. But it is a comfort to know that the 
books, the accounts, the trust deeds, and some of 
the pictures have been saved. If we have lost our 
hymn-books we have not lost our songs ; though 
our Bibles are burned the Word remains. Our 
pleasant things are those which nothing can des- 
troy : the Church of God, the Holy Spirit, the 
fellowship of saints, the ordinances of the sanctuary. 
I am glad to tell you that the old copy of the 
Declaration of Faith which hung in the pastor's 
vestry has been saved, but even if it had been lost 
our faith would have remained." 

A touch of the grotesque was given to the 
situation after the fire by the luncheon in the 
basement, which, though saturated with water, 
still remained on the tables : a large pan of potatoes 
was still on the stove ; and bottles of aerated water 
were strewn about the floor. 

When the fire began the College Conference was 
in session. A deacon's daughter brought the 
alarming news of it to the College Hall, and whis- 


pered it to those near the door. Without making 
a fuss they ran over to the Tabernacle and dis- 
covered the serious nature of the situation. Mr. 
Nicholson, of Bedford, thereupon hurriedly walked 
up to the platform and told the news to Mr. 
Spurgeon. After a minute's pause he turned to 
those beside him, and said, *' What shall we do ? 
Go on with the meeting ? " There was none to 
deny, so the address in progress by Rev. James 
Stephens, of Highgate, on " The Lord is with you 
while ye be with Him," was continued. But the 
people guessed something was the matter, so the 
president had to interrupt the speaker and 
announce, " I am told, friends, that the Tabernacle 
is on fire. We can do no good by rushing out. 
I dare say we should only be in the way of the 
firemen. Let us go on quietly with our meeting." 
Mr, Stephens resumed, but in about ten minutes 
the heat became so intense that, closing the meeting 
with prayer, the president asked the ladies in the 
gallery to go out first, and then the four hundred 
or five hundred ministers followed. By the time 
the last had departed it had become unpleasantly 
hot, but, happily, the College buildings were never 
in danger. 

From the platform Mr. Spurgeon must have been 
able all along to see the tongues of flame shooting 
forth from the building in which he was more 
interested than any other man in the assembly ; 
yet he calmly maintained his place, and kept the 
meeting in hand. As in a flash it revealed his 
sense of values. To him the sacred exercises in 
which they were engaged were of more importance, 


at that moment, than even the sight of the burning 
sanctuary. The story of the fire is interesting, 
but far more interesting to his biographer, at all 
events, is the unconscious manifestation of the 
soul of the man. Few would have taken the same 
course. I confess that I should have been eager, 
and I think rightly eager, to see the spectacle, but 
to Thomas Spurgeon, not only were the eternal 
things of first value, but the particular exercises 
in which he was engaged far outweighed any mere 
earthly consideration. In the light of the fire 
there stands revealed the man — there is the inner- 
most secret of his life. Nothing to him was to be 
compared to the spiritual realities, he was so sure 
of Christ that nothing could shake his faith, nor 
obscure his sense of the divine, and all else was 

Again and again Browning's conception of 
Lazarus, in his Epistle of Karshish, seems to fit his 
case and to express his character. 

** Heaven opened to a soul while yet on earth, 
Earth forced on a soul's use while seeing heaven ; 
The man is witless of the size, the sum, 
The value in proportion of all things, 
Or whether it be little or be much. 

Should his child sicken imto death — why, look 

For scarce abatement of his cheerfulness. 

Or pretermission of his daily craft ! 

While a word, gesture, glance from that same child 

At play or in the school or hard asleep, 

Will startle him to an agony of fear, 

Exasperation, just as like. 


** Whence has the man the bahn that brightens all ? 
This grown man eyes the world now like a child 
That sets the undreamed-of rapture at his hand 
And puts the cheap old joy in the scorned dust. 

*' And oft the man's soul springs into his face 
As if he saw again and heard again 
His Sage that bade him ' Bise.' 

** This man is apathetic you deduce ? 
Contrariwise, he loves both old and yoimg, 
Able and weak, affects the very brutes 
And birds — how say I ? flowers of the field — 
As a wise workman recognises tools 
In a master's workshop, loving what they make. 
Thus is the man as harmless as a lamb : 
Only impatient, let him do his best, 
At ignorance and carelessness and sin." 

It is Christ's resurrection word that makes the 
saint, and of Thomas Spurgeon, saint and gospeller, 
it may be truly said as of Lazarus raised from the 
dead, " Because of him many went away and 
believed on Jesus." 



Twenty and nine months was the Tabernacle in 
re-building. When it lay in ruins on that April 
evening it took an heroic spirit to contemplate its 
renewal. But Thomas Spurgeon and his helpers 
never hesitated. On that same evening he an- 
nounced to the public that it would be rebuilt. It 
needed only the occasion to show of what fine 
stuff he was built. A man's own character can 
often be deduced from the sort of people he admires. 
Thomas Spurgeon' s heroes, as he told me one day 
on the Alps, were Oliver Cromwell, Joan of Arc, 
Abraham Lincoln, C. H. Spurgeon, and — Paul 
Kruger ! That last name will perhaps be read 
with surprise, but it is a singular thing that there 
is one portrait of Kruger and one portrait of 
Spurgeon that so closely resemble each other that 
one might, at a quick glance, easily be taken for the 
other ; and, when you come to think of it, there 
were elements of similarity in their character. 

The new Tabernacle, which cost £45,000, was 
opened, like the first Tabernacle, free of debt. A 
sum of £22,000 was received from the insurance 
companies, who behaved quite generously in the 
matter, and before " The Feast of the Dedication *' 



began— a long and happily sustained festival, from 
September 19th to October 18th, 1900— £23,300 
had been contributed by the people. At no time 
during the progress of the work was there any lack 
of means to carry it forward : the Lord sent 
supplies as they were needed. 

The fire had scarcely burnt itself out before 
messages of sympathy by letter and telegraph 
began to arrive. One friend wrote that if some- 
thing startling had not happened the son would 
not have been in the Spurgeonic succession, and 
tried to comfort him with the thought that the 
fiery baptism proved his heritage. His faith, 
expressed in a meeting of the Church and congrega- 
tion at Upton Chapel on Monday, May 9th, that 
whether £10,000 or £20,000 were needed he did 
not doubt but that it would come in God's good 
time, was a surer sign of his calling. Concerning 
an earlier gathering on April 21st, he wrote to his 
friend, Mr. William Higgs : " Last night's meeting 
was overwhelming — a tidal wave of sympathy and 

Singularly enough the trust deed of the old 
Tabernacle had a clause dealing with the rebuilding 
of the Sanctuary, and in accordance with it, a 
meeting of the men members of the Church gathered 
on May 27th, 1898, to consider the matter . Woman 
had not yet gained her place, either in the world 
or in the Church. At that meeting, it was felt 
that while temporary accommodation for the church 
services would be found in Exeter Hall, the Pastors' 
College, and the Stockwell Orphanage, it would be 
in the best interests of the work to get back to 


Newington Butts as soon as possible. Therefore, 
on expert advice it was decided that the entire 
basement of the Tabernacle should be cleared, and 
roofed in with what would be the fireproof floor 
of the new Tabernacle. In this way accommodation 
could be provided for two thousand persons. It 
was expected that this could be accomplished in 
three or four months ; as a matter of fact, the first 
services in the basement hall were held on the first 
day of January the following year, and the pastor 
then wrote, " We find that considerably over two 
thousand people can be accommodated, and that they 
can all hear.'^ The estimated cost of this part of 
the work was £7,866. 

So far good. But the rebuilding of the super- 
structure was a more serious business. There were 
those who questioned whether it should be rebuilt 
at all, whether the destruction of the old building, 
permitted by God, was not an indication that the 
people should go further afield, especially as the 
neighbourhood in Newington was so rapidly 
changing ; whether two or three places of worship 
might not be built instead of one ; whether a much 
smaller tabernacle might not suffice on the old site ; 
whether it was necessary to have two galleries in 
the new structure, and a host of other questions. 

In the minute book of the Church a statement 
of the case was made in which occur the following 
paragraphs : " It seems to be taken for granted, 
from the first, that the Tabernacle would be re- 
built, and with God's help it shall be done." " We 
cherish no sort of doubt that the Lord will, in His 
own good time, reinstate us, and establish the 


work of our hands." *' No words can set forth 
our grief at losing a place endeared to us by ten 
thousand hallowed associations ; but we are 
persuaded that He Who helped our late loved 
pastor, C. H. Spurgeon, to rear it, and then so 
successfully to occupy its pulpit, will enable us to 
rebuild the structure, and to continue the good 

Finally, it was decided that the new building 
should be on the general plan of the old, omitting 
the top gallery if that was found to be desirable. 
Three conditions were imposed on the building 
committee : " That the restored building must 
worthily perpetuate the memory of the beloved 
founder, C. H. Spurgeon ; that it should meet the 
requirements of the times and be suitable for 
conventions and anniversaries, as well as for the 
regular services of the Sabbath ; that any scheme 
adopted should give effect to the pastor's suggestion 
that he and his hearers be brought into closer 
proximity to each other." 

In the result, the committee determined to retain 
the top gallery, and when tenders were handed in 
from six builders the estimates ranged from 
£36,000 to £33,000. Mr. F. H. Ford, the secretary 
of the building committee, tells that having 
attended at the architect's office to see the tenders 
opened, he hurried to the Tabernacle to inform 
Mr. Spurgeon of the result. The estimates were 
greatly in excess of what had been anticipated, so 
the news was imparted gently, the sugar first, the 
pill to follow. 

" You will be glad to hear that the tender of 


Messrs. Higgs and Hill is the lowest, and that they 
will build the Tabernacle," to which the Pastor 
responded, " The Lord be praised." Then came 
the serious announcement of the contract price, 
and the pastor answered as promptly, " The Lord 
will provide." 

The difficulties were not treated lightly, as the 
following letter to Mr. William Higgs, dated 
December 16th, 1898, will show : 

*' My dear, dear Friend, 

" You should not have troubled to reply to 
my wire, which I fear only served to cast you 
down, though it was not intended to do so. Be of 
good cheer. All is well. We must make what 
reductions are possible and go ahead. Work and 
faith will do it. I half fear we must relinquish 
the Temple Street project, but the Tabernacle must 
be rebuilt, and God will help us. It is a bit of a 
staggerer, but we must face it confidently. We 
shall not appeal in vain, and I will work with 
might and main to ensure success. 

" Yours, with ever -deepening love, 

" Tom." 

The faith of the Tabernacle people was greatly 
sustained by the sympathy of friends beyond the 
borders of the Church. The British Weekly at 
once started a fund for the rebuilding. *' It will 
be a grand object lesson to our unity as Non- 
conformists and our mutual sympathy," it said, 
"if at this moment of crisis, and irrespective of 
denominations, we rally together to put the 


fortunes of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Church 
beyond doubt, so far as human aid can do this. 
It is poor sympathy that evaporates and ends in 
the passing of resolutions and in the writing of 
letters. What is needed is money, money, given 
kindly and prayerfully." The Echo also opened 
a shilling fund, and The Christian Herald received 

At a meeting on December 19th, 1898, it was 
reported that a sum of £16,000 was still required. 
At a reception by Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon at the 
Tabernacle, on February 8th, 1899, amidst the 
greatest enthusiasm, no less than £6,367 was 
contributed. When the sum of £5,000 was shown 
on the notice-board, the stream of givers stopped 
while the people sang the Doxology, but until 
nearly nine o'clock at night the queue continued, 
not as in these war days to get something, but in 
eagerness to give, and at the end they sang " All 
hail the power of Jesus' name," and went home, 
according to the report, in an " O be joyful " 

The progress of the Metropolitan Tabernacle 
Building Fund can be followed in The Sword and 
Trowel for 1898, 1899, and 1900. At the end of 
November, 1899, a sum of £5,000 was still required. 
By the following June this had been reduced to 
£3,500, and this had to be raised in less than four 
months, and it was nearly all contributed the 
following month. 

A reception was held by Mrs. Thomas Spurgeon 
on July 4th, " the glorious fourth," as the 
Americans call it. This, for enthusiasm and gener- 


ous and general giving, was almost a repetition of 
the reception by Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon the previous 
year. The morning post brought £671 ; early in 
the afternoon only £1,000 was needed to complete 
the contract price, and the people could not refrain 
from singing the Doxology. Before the gathering 
dispersed at nine o'clock £2,772 had been contri- 
buted, and only a sum of £346 more was needed. 

Meanwhile, the ministry was exercised with many 
signs of God's blessing, and, as far as possible, the 
various organizations carried forward. Perhaps 
the most memorable days in the basement hall 
were those of a special mission in February, con- 
ducted by Archibald G. Brown and W. Y. FuUerton. 
It is reported in the April number of The Sword 
and Trowel, under the heading " The Lord's Doing," 
and truly His power was very evident. Mr. A. G. 
Brown was not able to be present till towards the 
end, being detained on the Continent, but he took 
charge of the last two days ; Mr. Spurgeon himself 
made up part of lack, and I was permitted to 
share. The students of the College were there in 
force, and one of the elders said, " During the time 
of my long connection with the Tabernacle I have 
never seen such enthusiasm — so many officers of 
the Church so persistent in their attendance, or the 
workers drawn from so many sources." Nobody 
was more thoroughly in it than Mr. Spurgeon 
himself, and as I was a guest in his house all the 
time, we were able to rejoice together. 

The new sanctuary was fast rising. Its audi- 
torium is thirteen feet less in length, and the 
vestries so much longer. The seats are further 


apart, and are meant to accommodate 2,703 persons, 
as against the 3,600 sittings in the old Tabernacle 
that could be let. Of course the crowd in both 
buildings often exceeded the official sittings. 
During the progress of the work Mr. T. H. Olney, 
the treasurer, died, and his place was taken by 
Mr. J. E. Passmore. Mr. Spurgeon himself took 
the greatest interest in every detail, and was often 
to be seen on the ladders, and on the roof. But, 
above all others, Mr. William Higgs is to be praised ; 
early and late he devoted personal attention to 
the structure, meeting with an accident one day 
which happily did not prove to be as serious as was 
at first feared, and not content with such service, 
he and Mrs. Higgs gave as a thankoffering the 
structural improvement of the roof and several 
other extra details of the building. There were 
others who made special contributions, amongst 
them the former scholars of the Stockwell Orphan- 
age, who gave carpet and clock for the pastor's 
vestry, while the vestry chair was contributed by 
a missionary on the Congo who was a former 
student of the College. 

A great feature at the opening services was the 
presence of Mr. Ira D. Sankey. On the morning 
of Wednesday, September 19th, a devotional 
service, largely attended, was conducted by Mr. 
A. G. Brown, when a telegram of greeting was read 
from Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon. The new Tabernacle 
was crowded in the afternoon, and Rev. John 
Thomas preached. In the evening, it is estimated, 
there were 4,000 persons in the Tabernacle, and 
1,800 in the basement hall : Sir George Williams 


presided. The following morning Rev. F. B . Meyer 
presided, and in the evening Rev. J. H. Jowett 
preached. The sermons of these two days, as well 
as Mr. Spurgeon's sermon the following Sunday 
morning, appeared in The Christian World Pulpit 
of September 26th. 

Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon held a reception in the 
afternoon of September 20th, it being the pastor's 
birthday, and some £600 were brought as a birthday 
offering. Mr. T. A. Denny presided on the Friday, 
and Reuben Saillens paid tribute to C. H. Spurgeon 
as " the greatest Englishman of the century," who 
was a devoted admirer of " John Calvin, the 
greatest Frenchman that ever lived." Mr. Sankey 
sang at several of these meetings, and on the 
Saturday evening, to a crowded Tabernacle, gave 
a service of song. Mr. Spurgeon preached both 
morning and evening on Sunday, and Mr. Tolfree 
Parr addressed a great crowd of children in the 
afternoon. Mr. John Marnham presided on the 
Monday evening, the workmen met the next night 
and had John Ploughman's Pictures, the various 
societies gathered on the Wednesday, when there 
were some presentations ; John McNeill preached 
on the Thursday, with Lord Kinnaird presiding. 
Mr. Hugh Brown was the preacher the following 
Sunday ; J. W. Ewing conducted the first baptism 
on the following Thursday ; Rev. Dinsdale T. 
Young preached the Thursday after, and Dr. 
Alexander McLaren the next Thursday, when there 
was " a United Communion Service for Believers 
of all Denominations." 

The generosity of the people may be gauged by 


the fact that, at the end of a month's services, a 
collection of £100 was given at this last service for 
the Indian Famine Fund. Here I take some pride 
in mentioning that on the Sunday after the Taber- 
nacle was burnt, collections were to be taken for 
the Baptist Missionary Society, and with a large- 
heartedness which goes a long way to explain the 
universal support accorded to the Tabernacle 
Church of these days, the collections were still 
taken at Exeter Hall for the Missionary Society, 
and realized about £80. 

It was a notable achievement to carry through 
successfully such a vast undertaking, a tribute to 
faith that without adventitious aid all the money 
was so freely given, a signal providence that there 
was no serious accident during the erecting of the 
structure. The first gift towards the rebuilding 
came from a man in the street, who saw Mr. 
Spurgeon outside the ruins shortly after the fire 
and slipped five shillings into his hand, saying, 
" This is to build it up again, sir." That five 
shillings grew until, at the end of The Sword and 
Trowel for 1900, we find gifts acknowledged 
amounting to £25,000. 



jfe In one respect Thomas Spurgeon the Twin re- 
sembled Jacob the Twin — ^he served two periods 
of seven years for his reward. In all else he was 
an Israel, having power with God and with man. 
His experience in London was very similar to his 
experience in Auckland — he built a tabernacle and, 
in a comparatively short time, found his health 
unequal to the task the Church involved, and was 
compelled at length to resign it. The great per- 
sonal event in his Auckland ministry was his 
Marriage, in his London ministry his Jubilee. 

That was on September 20th, 1906. At a 
reception in the afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon 
received from seven hundred guests over £1,000, 
which was, as customary with the birthday gifts, 
devoted to the various good works in connection 
with the Tabernacle. The evening meeting was 
enough to gladden any man's heart. His friend, 
Mr. William Higgs, presided, an oil painting of 
himself to adorn the walls of his vestry was pre- 
sented to the pastor, and a grandfather's clock to 
adorn his own home. To Mrs. Spurgeon a silver 
tray, to Mr. Charles Spurgeon at Nottingham, 
where he then was minister, a hearty message of 
greeting. The speakers were F. B. Meyer, Dins- 


dale Young, and Archibald Brown, and to the 
delight of the audience Campbell Morgan, just 
returned from America, came to give his good 

This was the crest of the hill. It was from a 
time of rest at Deeside that the pastor came to the 
meeting, and, although the membership of the 
Church was still three thousand, changing circum- 
stances aroused many questionings. It was on a 
Sunday during this interval that, in spite of his 
pain, Thomas Spurgeon wrote : — 

Never mind the why and wherefore, 

Never mind the how and when ; 
For the thoughts of God are higher 

Than the thoughts and ways of men. 

Never mind the peradventures. 

Never mind the ifs and buts ; 
Jesus holds the key of David, 

When He opens no man shuts. 

Never mind the fear or favour. 

Never mind the ayes and noes ; 
He who sides with God and goodness 

Far outnumbers all his foes. 

Never mind the weights and measures. 

Never mind the have and had ; 
Christ can banquet starving thousands 

From the wallet of a lad. 

Never mind the whence and whither, 

Never mind the thens and tills ; 
Trust in God's unchanging mercy, 

Best upon His shalls and wills. 

Of the man himself at this time there is no better 
sketch than that of his friend, F. A. Jackson, 
>vhich appeared in The Baptist : " The hair is 


iron grey, and the striking face is not without 
traces of time, and thought, and heavy responsi- 
bihty, but the age of his heart is less than half the 
number of his years, for he is, at heart, a boy. 
Soft is the hand held out in greeting, gentle are the 
eyes that look into yours, and there is essential 
kindness in the tones of the voice. Meeting him 
casually you may be impressed by the exceeding 
gentleness of the man, along with a certain aloofness 
which is not coldness, and, mayhap, a suggestion 
of weariness born of impaired health and increasing 
burdens. But if you are fortunate enough to enjoy 
a closer acquaintance, and especially if it is your 
privilege to become his fellow-worker, you will 
discover an underlying strain of sternness and a 
flash of fire, which will go far to explain the personal 
force by which a thirteen years' pastorate at the 
Metropolitan Tabernacle has been maintained 
against enormous odds. ' Upon the top of the 
pillars was lily work.' Strength crowned with 
beauty. Massive workmanship and inspired 

An admirable appreciation appeared in The 
British Monthly of November, 1903, in which 
occurs this characterization : " Mr. Thomas Spur- 
geon's reputation as a preacher is growing steadily, 
year by year. Like his father he is an Anglo-Saxon 
in all his modes of thought and speech. His 
simple, straightforward language goes right to the 
heart of the people — there is no London minister 
who has a richer variety of striking illustration. 
His week-day addresses have the pleasant healthy 
flavour of John Ploughman's Talk. Mr. Spurgeon 


is a Nonconformist by conviction, and has taken 
a prominent part in the passive resistance agita- 
tion : some of the most inspiring letters in the 
fight have come from his pen." 

During the Baptist World's Congress in London 
in 1905, which he only attended on one occasion, 
when he was received with enthusiasm, and though 
asked to speak only led the assembly in prayer, 
the president of the South African Baptist Union 
contributed a very readable description of a 
service in the Tabernacle to the columns of The 
Baptist, It was a wet Sunday, and he says : " The 
congregation at the Tabernacle evoked the out- 
spoken wonder of an American, who said that with 
such rain on a Sunday morning it was surprising 
to him that so many were there. To a casual 
visitor it was not the size but the intention of the 
gathering that seemed most striking. There was 
a great preponderance of men, which was a very 
suggestive item in itself. The singing was hearty 
and the listening was grand." 

" One good soul said that the recent ingatherings 
at the Tabernacle had done the pastor much good, 
and the fresh vigour of these heartening days was 
manifest. After the Congress one cannot help 
comparing men and methods ; and having listened 
to some of the foremost London preachers during 
the past few weeks, it would seem not too much 
to say that Mr. Thomas Spurgeon has the freest 
pulpit style in London to-day. With ease and 
dignity, undisfigured by excessive action, he deals 
with his theme in a manner that makes the hearer 
feel that it is of present and vital interest," 


The London newspapers frequently made refer- 
ence to Tabernacle affairs, and sometimes reported 
Mr. Spurgeon's sermons. The Daily News of 
November 5th, 1906, gave a lengthy risumi of a 
sermon on " Asking wisdom," and concluded with 
the following paragraph : '' The sermon was 
brought to a close with a telling anecdote of 
Gordon's confidence in God. — ' When Gordon was 
sent to the Soudan he confessed that no man ever 
undertook a harder task, but he said, " The task 
sits on me as lightly as a feather, for I have asked 
God for wisdom, and I know that He will give it 
to me." ' " 

General Gordon's experience was his also. In 
one of his sermons he opened his heart to his 
people : " Do you know that when I had got thus 
far with the preparation of my discourse last night, 
I sat me in my chair and said to myself, ' You are 
going to try to get these people to cast their cares 
on God, but you will not succeed unless you do so 
yourself.' Then I thought of the College, where we 
are just now expending more than our income, of 
the Orphanage, with its five hundred dear orphan 
children, of the fifty colporteurs, of the new Taber- 
nacle, and of the great Church of many thousand 
members, which we can hardly minister to as we 
desire. I thought of many another care beside, 
and when I had put them in a great heap, I prayed 
for strength enough to lift it to the Lord, and I 
found it was too much for me. So I asked Him 
just to lift the load Himself and carry it away. 
I believe that He has done it, and will do it. I 
fancy He has lifted me as well." 


Another sermon extract may be given as an 
example of the direct blessing resting on the 
ministry at this time. " A few Lord's days back 
I ventured, in yonder pulpit, to urge some of my 
hearers to begin to run in the way of God's com- 
mandments, and I went a little out of my ordinary 
track by using such an illustration as this : ' We 
are starting a race this morning ; come all of you 
who have it in your hearts to begin to run towards 
God. Listen to me now. Stand ready for the 
signal.' I cannot exactly remember the words I 
used, but I have good reason to rejoice that I did 
use the metaphor, for God blessed it to the salvation 
of some souls. I told them of the prize that was 
set before them. I pointed to the cloud of wit- 
nesses that held them in full survey. I bade them, 
for their own sakes, and for their loved ones' sakes, 
to begin to live for God, and then at last I cried 
' Are you ready ? ' ' Are you ready ? ' And 
presently, so to speak, the flag fell, and I exclaimed 
' Go ! In the name of the Lord, go ! ' Only a few 
days later, one dear friend wrote to me, and said, 
' I could not stand the falling of that flag, and the 
saying *' In the name of the Lord, go ! " Pray for 
me, for I have begun to run in the way of God's 
commandments.' " 

Such blessing was not singular. Another bears 
witness to the preacher in this striking sentence, 
" when you closed with the Benediction I closed 
with Christ." 

The Morning Leader of August 10th, 1903, in 
its series " The Man in the Pulpit," had an ad- 
mirable and sympathetic sketch of the Tabernacle 


pastor. " Simple is the preacher, simple the 
prayer, simple the sermon. The Puritan spirit is 
strong in him. He prays that simple worship may 
take the place of what art suggests and science 
admires. He prays for the unaged Gospel and 
the unembellished Cross. He prays for deliverance 
from priestcraft and unfair legislation. Let the 
saints of God be dowered with the gentle spirit of 
Jesus, combined with adamantine firmness." 

An interesting incident occurred on Sunday, 
April 13th, 1907, when his son and daughter were 
baptized. Mr. Hugh D. Brown, of Dublin, was 
the preacher, but before the baptism Thomas 
Spurgeon rose and said : "I need not tell you that 
this occasion is one of deepest joy to me. You can 
understand that this scene and this action remind 
me of my own baptism with my dear brother in 
this place at my dear father's hands. For that 
act of obedience and consecration I have reason to 
thank God from that day until now, and my prayer 
is to-night, as my own dear children, and the 
children of other friends of ours, obey their Lord 
in baptism, that they may have a similar joy, and 
that their example may have a similar happy effect, 
and that for the rest of their days they may know 
the keeping power of Christ." 

During these years there were four missions at 
the Tabernacle. First the Simultaneous Mission 
at the end of January, 1902, when Gipsy Smith, 
John McNeill, and Hugh Price Hughes were the 
missioners, and great crowds assembled. Last a 
mission conducted by myself, to which two articles 
are devoted in the 1906 Sword and Trowel, and one 


by Mr. W. R. Lane, of whom Mr. Spurgeon had the 
highest opinion. But the outstanding mission was 
that which sprang up after the Welsh Revival, and 
was carried forward by six Welsh brethren then in 
training in the Pastors' College, one of them now 
a missionary on the Congo, and the others in 
pastorates at home : D. C. Davies ; A. LI. Ed- 
wards ; J. R. Edwards ; T. Hayward ; Caradoe 
Jones ; F. Williams. The meetings began on 
March 13th, 1905, and continued until the middle 
of April. Three articles in The Sword and Trowel 
for 1905 describe it, and Dr. McCaig feels that he 
is justified in calling it a Revival. Over seven 
hundred names were registered of those who con- 
fessed Christ. The great features of these meetings 
were the midnight marches to gather in the people, 
in which Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon shared. He was 
heart and soul in the work. Writing to Mr. 
Jackson on March 25th, he says : "At eleven we 
formed up in the space between Tabernacle and 
railings, and marched forth about 11.30. We 
were four deep, I know not how long. Mrs. 
S., Dr. McCaig and his wife, marched with me just 
behind the musicians. We sang and shouted out 
the news of the meeting all the way. What a sight 
when we got back to the Tabernacle steps — 
drunkards, harlots, all sorts of refuse, many in 
drink, but all singing ' There is a fountain filled 
with blood.' The meeting lasted till three o'clock ! 
Solemn, subduing, wonderful. The end was strik- 
ing. Just as 6ne brother announced the Doxology, 
I felt impelled to step forward and repeat, ' He 
hath made Him to be sin for us,' etc. Then the 


brother said, ' Let us all repeat it after Mr. Spur- 
geon,' and they did. This was no sooner done 
than another started ' Hallelujah ! What a 
Saviour ! ' and oh, the power and grace as we sang 
that hymn through. Then the Doxology and 
Benediction, but there had been doxology and 
benediction all the time. Twenty were gathered 
in ! Rejoice with me, and with God. ' Who is a 
pardoning God like Thee.' " 

Again on March 30th he says : " Both meetings 
last night were glorious. I saw twelve applicants 
for membership, and yet was in time to have an 
hour and a half of the fresh meeting. There must 
have been five hundred in the procession. We 
shouted ourselves hoarse, and tramped ourselves 
hors de combat. The Lord has not removed our 
candlestick. How good of Him ! They say I look 
haggard, but I would rather look haggard than be 
a laggard ! " 

One of the great sorrows of this time was the 
death of his dear mother, on October 22nd, 1903. 
From the glimpses into the early correspondence 
between mother and son it will have been seen 
how dear they were to each other. '' On Saturday, 
October 17th," he writes, " I received a parting 
benediction from her dear lips, that will echo in my 
grateful heart till I also hear the Master's call. 
It was Christiana's farewell blessing to her children : 
— ' The blessing — the double blessing of your 
father's God be upon you, and upon your brother," 
she said with fervour ; and a little later, ' Good-bye, 
dear Tom, the Lord bless you for ever and ever. 




" On the previous day she had said to her 
faithful friend and companion, Miss Thorne, who 
had been with her for forty years, ' Whom shall 
I see next ? ' ' Whom would you like to see, 
darling ? ' was the response. Then with a face 
all aflame with joy of blest anticipation the exile, 
so soon to be brought home, exclaimed, ' My 
Husband ! ' But when the last moment came a 
fairer vision was granted to her ; she exclaimed, 
' Blessed Jesus ! Blessed Jesus ! I can see the 
King in His glory 1 ' " 

Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon was a truly remarkable 
woman. From the year 1868 she was a great 
sufferer, but she had learnt to rejoice in tribulation. 
In the home she was a veritable queen, and she 
delighted in the Gospel as preached by her husband ; 
to her he was king, or as she playfully called him, 
''The Tirshatha." I remember holding a Sunday 
evening service with Manton Smith, in the 
library of " West wood," when she presided at the 
organ, having called in her neighbours to hear the 
word of the Lord. Her great work was the dis- 
tribution of books by means of " the Book Fund " — 
no less than 199,315 volumes having been sent to 
preachers by this means. The story has been 
chronicled in two books. Ten Years of my Life in 
the Service of the Book Fund, and Ten Years After. 

Of the next day, Tuesday, October 28th, her 
son writes, "To-day has proved the most trying 
experience of my hfe, but I have been helped." 
Immediately on the death of his mother, it proved 
necessary for his wife to have an operation, so there 
was the double anxiety. Happily Mrs. Thomas 


made a good recovery, and in two months' time 
was able to get about again. 

Two other members of the family had already 
passed over : his grandfather, Rev. John Spurgeon, 
who died on June 14th, 1902, aged ninety-two years, 
and his uncle, Dr. James A. Spurgeon, who died 
on March 22nd, 1899, in a railway carriage, as he 
was on a journey to London. 

On February 13th, 1907, owing to continued 
ill-health, a letter of resignation was written to 
the Church : " Only a strong sense of duty, I can 
assure you, induces me to take this step." The 
deacons replied suggesting a long rest, to which 
he reluctantly agreed. The London papers, with 
one consent, made very sympathetic reference to 
the event. But as it was necessary for the work 
to continue, a very hearty invitation was sent to 
Rev. Archibald G. Brown to become co-pastor. 
On May 4th he accepted the offer, and was duly 
installed at a great meeting on June 17th. 

Meanwhile, after a sojourn at Woodhall Spa, 
Mr. Spurgeon had been able to address the College 
Conference, and almost immediately he left for 
Carlsbad, in company with Mr. J. Hill. From 
thence he journeyed to Meran ; from whence, on 
February 8th, 1908, he sent his final resignation 
to the Church, which they had no option but to 
accept. On March 11th, Mr. A. G. Brown was 
invited as his successor, and for three years he 
exercised a very fruitful and fragrant ministry at 
the Tabernacle as Pastor of the Church. A com- 
petent judge of the preachers of the day has said 
that Archibald G. Brown was the greatest unac- 


knowledged orator of his time. Happily, he still 
lives and preaches. He, in turn, was succeeded 
at the Tabernacle by Dr. A. C. Dixon, of America. 

The farewell meeting was on Monday, June 22nd. 
The love of the people overflowed in gifts, a cheque 
of £450 to Mr. Spurgeon, and a dressing-case and 
pearl necklace to Mrs. Spurgeon. It was recorded 
that during his ministry 2,200 persons had been 
received into the fellowship of the Church, but that 
is not the full measure of the ministry of these 
brave fourteen years, so filled with opportunity 
and difficulty, joy and pain, decreasing membership 
and increasing weakness. 

Once he wrote — it was on July 26th, 1902 — to 
his old comrade. Rev. J. S. Harrison : " There 
have been many and sore trials, and I have been 
depressed beyond measure. Truth to tell, I am 
at this present time not altogether jubilant. The 
difficulties are enormous and they seem to increase. 
Many of the people are loyal and faithful in a high 
degree, but I have had many bitter disappoint- 
ments in this respect. My one dread is of remain- 
ing in a post of honour longer than I should. I 
cannot doubt that God led me hither, but I some- 
times wonder if He bids me stay. I am opening up 
my heart to you, for you are a true friend of mine." 

Yet three years later he was able to write and 

In burning fiery furnace, the glowing coals I tread. 

The flames, though seven times heated, hurt neither feet nor 

head : 
They bum the bands that bind me, they have no power to kill, 
Th ey c««mot even scorch m©, for God is with me still. 


My soul's among the lions, the den is dark and deep, 
And yet I rest securely. He gives His loved one sleep : 
The lions cannot hurt me, they learn to do my will, 
My God has sent his angel, and He is with me still. 

The tempest howls around me, nor sun nor stars appear, 
My comrades lose their courage, my craft is stripped of gear ; 
Yet I am calm and thankful, I have no thought of ill. 
An angel stood beside me, and God is with me still. 

E'en though I walk the valley, where death's dark shadows fall. 

Yet will I fear no evil, no terrors can appal ; 

The rod and staff of Jesus my soul with comfort fill, 

I cannot but be happy, for God is with me still. 

Of course Mr. Spurgeon often spoke in the 
Tabernacle after he resigned the charge of the 
Church, but with less frequency as the years went 
on, until by and by he was quite silent. There 
is, however, a permanent record of his voice, for 
on August 2nd, 1905, he spoke into an Edison-Bell 
phonograph, first giving his father's last words in 
the Tabernacle, and then making a record of his 
own, entitled " A Parable of the Phonograph." 
It runs as follows : — 

" The apostle Paul called the Corinthian Chris- 
tians the epistle of Christ. Were he describing 
believers to-day, he would probably employ an 
up-to-date comparison, and say, ' Ye are Christ's 
phonographs, Christ's voice-recorders, Christ's 
talking machines.' 

'* It is the privilege of true Christians to receive 
and to record Divine impressions, to register the 
voice of the Spirit, and then to reproduce the 
heavenly message. That which has been spoken 
to them they utter ; what God has wrought 


within them, they in their Uves work out. They 
should sound forth faithful echoes of the word of 
Christ which abideth in them. The veriest 
whisper should be recorded by the sensitive soul, 
and the tenderest tones repeated by a consistent 

'* This thought it is that finds expression in 
the lines we love to sing, ' Lord, speak to me that 
I may speak in living echoes of Thy tone.' At 
best we are imperfect instruments, but the Master 
is ever at work upon us, and we shall be absolutely 
accurate transcripts of Him by and by. We shall 
be like Him for we shall see Him as He is." 



For fifty-four years the past students of the 
Pastors' College have assembled in annual con- 
ference in the Spring, either in the week before or 
the week after the meetings of the Baptist Union, 
the date being regulated by the recurrence of 
Easter. These Conferences generally continued 
from the Monday afternoon to the Friday after- 
noon, and were entirely sui generis, C . H. Spurgeon 
breathed his own spirit into them from the first, 
and a fine feeling of brotherhood exists between 
the members. Many a time they have been 
thrilled as with linked hands they have sung, after 
the final Communion service, the College psalm : — 

'*Pray that Jenisalem may have 
Peace and felicity. 
Let them that love thee and thy truth 
Have still prosperity." 

Many a time enthusiasm has risen to boiling point 
as the assembled ministers have sung together the 
College anthem : — 

** The Cross it standeth fast. 
Hallelujah I " 


Many a time, too, they have been melted to tears 
as they have bent before the Throne of grace, or 
recalled the history of some departed brother, or 
listened to some of their number setting forth the 
things of Christ. Not always tears, however; 
cheers have not been infrequent, and laughter has 
often rung round the Conference Hall of the 

But nothing has ever evoked more interest than 
the President's annual address, and Thomas 
Spurgeon gave twenty-one of these. Dr. James 
Spurgeon three, and C. H. Spurgeon twenty-seven. 
During the earher years the President also preached 
on the last day of the Conference : on several 
occasions Thomas Spurgeon has also rendered this 
service ; on the year that his father died the task 
fell to me, the next year to Dr. Pierson, the follow- 
ing year to Thomas Spurgeon ; but of late years a 
vice-president has been annually elected who took 
this as part of his office. In succession to his uncle, 
who was elected twice to the position, Thomas 
Spurgeon was elected President in 1894, and was 
elected every year after. Even in the last two 
years, when failing health made it impossible for 
him to perform the duties of the post, he was still 
voted into the chair, Charles, who for years sup- 
ported his younger brother, being annually chosen 
as deputy president all along, loyally making up 
his lack of service. 

In passing it may be noted that there was a 
humorous rivalry as to which of the brothers was 
the elder man. Charles was born first, but Thomas 
always insisted that, as he was in Australia on the 


day of their majority, he came of age earlier than 
his brother — a. contention that must be conceded. 
But as against that, it may be remarked that, as 
in his final voyage to England Thomas came by 
the Pacific route and added a day to his year as 
he crossed longitude 180 '', he fell a whole day behind 
his brother, and consequently Charles was his 
senior by over eleven hours ! But a truce to such 

The relation between the brothers and the 
Conference may be judged by the following letter 
of greeting, which is but a sample of many. It is 
dated December 28th, 1897. 

" Dear Friend and Brother, 

" Again we greet you. ' A Happy New 
Year to you.' How fares it with you and with your 
work ? Does the fire burn brightly on the altar ? 
Does the dew fall copiously on the field ? Is the 
old flag still waving, and the same war-cry sound- 
ing ? And how goes the fight ? Can you let us 
have answers to these inquiries, short, pointed 
replies, as soon as possible ? We should also like 
to know how you are, and what you look like now. 
Send us a photo if you can. As for us, we are 
toiling on, and leaning hard, and looking up. 
" Yours very heartily, 
" Thomas Spurgeon, President 
" Charles Spurgeon, Vice-President'^ 

With pardonable self-deception it was declared 
year by year that the last presidential address was 
the best : even cautious brethren, carried away in 


the common elevation of feeling, admitted there 
never was a better. In a sense this was all true: 
the address just delivered was actually the best at 
the moment, for it was vivid while the others were 
but dim memories . The repetition of such a verdict 
year after year might have amused the cynic, but 
it was evidence of the deep hold the President had 
on the six hundred or more men, and of the affection 
with which they regarded him. The last love-letter 
is always the best ; and the man who is in love is 
always eloquent. 

Thomas Spurgeon rightly looked upon these 
addresses as the chief utterance of the year. He 
did not, however, deal with current topics ; indeed, 
sometimes his subjects were quite remote from the 
sentiment of the time, and perhaps gained by the 
contrast. He often used similitudes, was ever fond 
of a parable, broke into poesy at times, and, 
especially towards the end, laid his head on the 
bosom of nature. On several occasions his address 
was but a glorified sermon — none the worse for 
that ; nearly always it was illustrated copiously 
from his own experience, and more than once 
entered into the holy of holies of the speaker's 
soul. Any man might be proud to have produced 
twenty-one such addresses, and the brief greeting 
of the twenty-second year, when further address 
was impossible, was a fitting crown for the whole. 
The last two years the Conference has been so 
abbreviated that there has been no address — ^there 
is, in fact, now no president. 

It need scarcely be wondered at that such a 
seafarer should have chosen for his first address in 


1895 the subject " En Voyage." It was felt to be 
the key-note of his own ministry when he said : 
" I find that in a comparatively ordinary letter 
that Whitefield wrote to a friend he says in the 
closing lines — ' Free grace for ever.' Brethren, put 
that, not at the end of your ministry, but through- 
out it, with a large mark of exclamation — two if 
you like — ' Free grace for ever ! ' ' Free grace for 
ever ! ! '" 

The nautical metaphor was carried well through. 
He instances the Doldrums, the Sargasso Sea, and 
the ice-fields, as the hindrances to the Church, and 
the high tone of the deliverance may be judged by 
one of the closing paragraphs. " Have you ever 
heard of ' the brave West winds.' I blessed God 
when they began to blow. There was no more 
battling against head winds, no more of that 
close-hauled sailing which meant sea-sickness to 
most passengers. The brave West winds ! They 
came behind with mighty force, and away we sped 
for thousands of miles, with fair winds and flowing 
sheets. Oh ! it was glorious sailing, that ! Fine 
weather all the time ; a strong wind, with huge 
green seas careering round us — ^the hugest waves 
the world over, thirty or forty feet in height. 
The waves in the Channel are bad enough, but they 
are only eight or ten feet high ; but with stately 
march these big waves chased each other, and 
helped us on toward the sunny South. You know 
of Whom I speak, and of what mighty power I tell. 
We have got now to where we came this time last 
year, when we spake of the power of the Holy Ghost. 
He is the brave West Wind. I dare to speak of 


Him under such an emblem, for Jesus did the same. 
Not that He is mere breath, but because the best 
thing earth or sky affords, with which to compare 
Him, is this same mysterious but well-nigh omni- 
potent wind. Said a thoughtful passenger to me 
on my first voyage across the Southern ocean, 
' What a pity it is,' — ^for the wind was blowing fair 
and fresh — ' What a pity it is that we cannot use 
it all.' They were taking in sail, and the fresher 
it blew the more they had to furl. Soon we were 
speeding along under little more than bare poles. 
I liked the thought — ' What a pity it is that we 
cannot use it all ! ' Suppose a ship should be 
constructed on which sails could be piled the more 
the breezes blew, what a pace she would go at ! 
And oh ! if you and I would only trust the Holy 
Spirit more, and use Him to the full, we should be 
sluggards and laggards no longer ! Then would 
we show our heels, and speed away towards heaven, 
successfully serving Christ the journey through." 
The subject for 1896 was " Antidotes," suggested 
by the saying of an old woman, who stayed at home 
on Sundays and read Spurgeon's sermons, instead 
of attending her chapel, saying of the preacher, 
" It was antidotes, antidotes, antidotes, from be- 
ginning to end, nothing but antidotes." This is 
one of the sermonic addresses, and it is very 
successfully built up on the report of His mission 
which our Lord sent to the imprisoned John Baptist. 
His estimate of much of the modern music is 
evidenced by the quotation : 

" I cannot sing the old songs," they heard the maiden say, 
And then the guests with one accord rose up and said " Hooray," 


Back again next year to allegory, he spoke in 
1897 on " The Heaven-ward Railway," a subject 
which, in less masterly hands, might have become 
trivial. *' The membership of my Church," said 
one, " is three hundred and some odd." " Oh," 
said another, *' I have only a hundred, all odd.'^ 
That is to illustrate the thought that ministers as 
guards of the train will have some strange pas- 
sengers to deal with. A memorable passage was, 
" On a voyage to the Antipodes, it was my lot to 
sit next to the chief engineer at meal-times. He 
was a genial fellow, and a good conversationalist ; 
but every now and then he was as those that 
dream. He had missed the last sentence altogether 
and had to beg pardon for apparent inattention. 
' I was listening to my ponies,' he would add, by 
way of explanation. He called the engines his 
ponies, and more than once I have known him 
quit the feast because they didn't trot quite 
evenly." The lesson, of course, is obvious, as is 
also the suggestion of the incident that came soon 
after about Napoleon : " Are you ever afraid. 
Citizen Consul ? " said one of his councillors to 
him after the explosion of a royalist infernal 
machine. He answered, " I afraid — oh ! if I were 
afraid, it would be a bad day for France ! " — a 
story well suited to these days of terror in which 
we live. 

In 1898 the topic was " A Letter from Home," 
suggested by the replies which were given to the 
New Year's letter quoted earlier in this chapter. 
The fire at the Tabernacle occurred the next day, 
and those on the look-out for coincidences remem- 


bered the references to " No strange fire " in the 
address the day before. Fire, the dew, the flag, 
and the fight, occupied the first half of the dis- 
course. Professor Blackie once said, " I want 
three things : first, a great cause ; second, a great 
battle ; third, a great victory." The second part 
of the address was allotted to the three phrases, 
" toiling on " ; " leaning hard " ; " looking up." 

On the last idea, this — " One soon becomes 
accustomed at sea to hearing commands sounded 
forth in stentorian tones from the quarter-deck ; 
but I was not a little startled, one fine day, when 
the good ship was rolling heavily, to hear the first 
mate shout at his loudest, ' Look up ! ' Anxiety 
was mingled with authority in his tone. And no 
wonder. Yonder raw apprentice was clambering 
up the rigging, but his eye was on the deck. I 
think I hear the warning message now, ' Look up ! ' 
The officer seemed almost angry. The lad had 
doubtless been warned, but he was disobeying. I 
know the thought that was in the old salt's heart. 
' The young idiot, to trifle thus — didn't I tell him 
of his danger ? He deserves to fall, but I must 
try to save him. — Look up ! ' He was just in 
time ; another instant, and there would have 
resounded through the ship that awful thud which 
tells of a fall from aloft, and of the spilling of a 
soul. 'Twas well that the first officer of that craft 
had a tender heart, a quick eye, and a trumpet 
tongue. Our God has all these — He has saved 
us from falling many a time ! " 

Mr. Spurgeon's summons to the 1899 Conference 
said : " How will the Lord visit us this time, I 


wonder. Perchance our experience will resemble 
Elijah's, ' After the fire a still small voice.* " The 
President again dealt in similitudes. This year 
" Lessons from Lighthouses." Quoting Michelet, 
" From base to summit every stone biting thus 
into its neighbour, the lighthouse is but one sole 
block, more one than the very rock it stands on. 
The billows know not where to assail it : they 
smite, they rage, they glide," he said. " Oh, it is 
wonderful what strength they have who trust in 
God. They can defy all blasts and billows. A 
stranger from the provinces once came to the 
Tabernacle, and heard ' the voice that is still ' say, 
as she opened the door, ' A simple-hearted child 
of God can floor a dozen devils.' She has never 
forgotten it . Many a time that sentence has helped 
her. May it help you, dear friend, though I only 
echo it, ' a simple-hearted child of God can floor 
a dozen devils.' 

" In the United States, the following rigorous 
order is in force : ' The inspector's visit may occur 
at any time, and in welcoming him the head keeper 
presents him with a white linen napkin.' As he 
goes his rounds, he passes this over the lens, the 
lamp, and even inside the kitchen utensils ; if the 
cloth comes out immaculate from the test, he 
enters in the lighthouse log-book this record : 
' Service napkin not soiled,' while the slightest 
smirch on the linen means a black mark for the 
keeper ! Who of us could stand such a test in 
spiritual things ? 

" Henry Ward Beecher once ridiculed the idea 
of a glow-worm offering itself to the Government 


as a lighthouse, and imagined it saying when it 
was refused — * Then I won't be anything.' ' Is 
it not worth while,' he inquired, ' for a glow-worm 
to be a glow-worm ! ' 

" Let us take our bearings, and prepare for 
arrival. That Christian nobleman, the Master of 
Blantyre, who navigated his own steam-yacht till 
his health failed, said, as he passed away, ' Full 
steam ahead ! ' There was much meaning in the 
unusual death-cry. He knew his whereabouts. 
He saw the light. It was all plain sailing when he 
came to die. What bliss will flood our souls when 
the end of the journey we see ! Not more glad 
was the Ancient Mariner to behold his native land 
than we shall be to hail the glory-shore. His song 
will find an echo in our hearts : — 

" Oh ! dream of joy I is this indeed 
The lighthouse top I see ? 
Is this the hill ? is this the kirk ? 
Is this mine own countree ? 

> " We drifted o'er the harbour-bar, 

And I with sobs did pray — 
O let me be awake, my God ; 
Or let me sleep alway." 

" We shall be both sleeping and awake : ' I sleep, 
but my heart waketh.' 

" When I last steamed towards the English 
Channel, a thick fog hindered my progress. For 
two or three days it kept us back. Still, we ' felt ' 
our way homewards. At length, we knew that we 
must be nearing land. Presently we found our- 
selves among a little fleet of trawlers. Passing 


dead slow round the stern of one of these, we 
looked down from the towering deck upon this 
mere cockleshell, for so she appeared. Our captain 
was at the edge of his bridge, and made as if he 
would speak to the skipper of the fishing-boat. 
Just as he was about to do so, the latter put his 
hands round about his mouth, and shouted the 
welcome news, ' Eddystone light right ahead, sir.' 
' Thank you,' said the captain, and he had no 
sooner put his vessel on her course again than, 
sure enough, like the red glow of an incandescent 
light when the current is first switched on, there 
glimmered through the fog the longed-for beam. 
In a few minutes we were abreast of it, and in 
another, past it, and — strange to tell — clear of the 
fog. Then it was ' full steam ahead ' till Plymouth 
port was gained. 

" I wonder, will the mists gather as we end our 
voyage ? It may be so. In that case, we shall 
be glad indeed of a cheering word, whoever speaks 
it. If a liner may have guidance of a lugger, 
maybe a little child will lead us, or a leaflet, or a 
well-worn text. Let some one say distinctly, when 
the fog is round my soul, ' Cross of Calvary right 
ahead, sir ! Cross of Calvary right ahead, sir ! ' 
Ah, yes ! I was heading that way surely ; but, 
oh ! the mist, the mist. But see, the blood-red 
glow beckons me — ^it brightens as I near it. Now 
is my salvation nearer than when I believed. The 
fog-bank is safely passed — yonder is the port ! 
' Full steam ahead ! ' " 

" Our Holy War," the theme for 1900, might 
serve for the present moment. It was partly 


sermonic, partly pictorial, with the Corinthian 
text, " Though we walk after the flesh we do not 
war after the flesh," as a starting-point. " Our 
feeble frames, our fading locks, our failing memo- 
ries, our fainting hearts," he cries, " are welcome 
if they conspire to lift His glories high." And with 
a glimpse of self -revelation : " O brethren, my 
heart is heavy at my own folly ! What though 
our services and sermons have never been of the 
garnished sort, what though we have not departed 
from the old paths in doctrine, I am painfully 
conscious that I have not so fully trusted the Word 
of truth, and the power of God, as I ought to, and 
as I meant to. Self has crept in. Oh ! the folly 
of it, for self is fatal to real blessing and true 
success." At the hearing of which words 1 am 
sure that in every man's heart there was a sigh. 

" One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism," was the 
subject for 1901. Following the experience of the 
Simultaneous Mission of the Free Church Federa- 
tion, in which he had heartily shared, Mr. Spurgeon 
emphasized the continued need for the Baptist 
witness. With McCheyne he said, " I bless God 
we live in witnessing times." The hearts of the 
Conference were moved as with common impulse 
when he said, " Thomas Carlyle says that Danton, 
when the tumult in poor France was growing shrill, 
exclaimed — ' Peace, O peace with one another ! 
Are we not alone against the world : a little band 
of brothers ? ' " Then he urged that we should 
have some of the old-time blessing when we got 
back to the old-time practices, and with an illus- 
tration again taken from the sea, he re-read three 


points of the compass which formed the title of 
the discourse. 

The address of 1902 on " Increase our faith " is 
best remembered by the parable of the starling, 
to which reference was made for years afterwards. 
But there were other memorable things. The 
prayer is, " Increase neither funds, nor friends, nor 
fame, unless Thou pleasest, but our faith.^'' " We 
can urge upon them a generous spirit like that 
which Turner evinced when he took down one of 
his own pictures that the work of an unknown 
provincial artist might be conspicuously hung." 
"It is a suggestive thing that the word difficulty 
occurs but once in the Bible, and then it is in the 
margin." '' I was the happy recipient, while 
laid aside, of many helpful messages. I was glad 
of them all, but you will wonder at the text that 
comforted me most. It read thus : ' And after this 
lived Job an hundred and forty years.' I cannot 
tell you what a lift this gave me. It* made me laugh 
for one thing ; it also made me hope. I began to 
realize that there was an ' After this ' for me also." 

Then came the piece about the starling. " May 
I tell you a parable by which, perchance, a faint- 
hearted warrior may be stimulated ? A certain 
minister had had influenza with complications. 
Lying on his bed, no longer seriously ill, but weak 
and low, he listened to the birds that announced 
the coming of the springtime. A glossy starling 
came, morning by morning, to the gable of a neigh- 
bouring house, and having announced his arrival 
by a long, sweet call, like a note of exclamation 
and one of interrogation combined, began his 


special tune. He seemed to look the invalid in 
the face as he said again and again, ' Give it up ; 
give it up.' ' That,' thought the listener, ' is the 
decision I had almost come to ; strange that a bird 
of the air should carry it. The task is too great 
for me. My work is done in that sphere at least.' 
Just then, the starling cried again, ' Give it up ; 
give it up.' 

" At that moment the door was opened, and the 
minister's wife entered. ' My dear,' said he, in 
rather dolorous tones, ' I have had a message 
unmistakably from Heaven.' ' Indeed,' she said, 
perhaps a little suspiciously. ' Yes, there's a 
starling on the gable yonder, that keeps saying to 
me, " Give it up." Now, you listen.' She did not 
smile or blame. She knew that the speaker was 
in sad earnest. She listened, and the bird obliged. 
Then she listened again. (Wives like to make sure 
before they express an opinion. ) Then the message 
sounded out more distinctly than ever, and the 
patient was convinced that no happier interpreta- 
tion was possible. But a radiant face was turned 
upon him, and a cheery voice exclaimed, ' Why, he 
says, " Keep it up ; keep it up," as plainly as a 
starling can. Listen again.' So they listened, the 
two of them. ' So he does,' said the already 
encouraged convalescent, 'it is " Keep it up," as 
plain as can be.' Whereupon he blessed his wife, 
thanked God and took courage, and almost begged 
the starling's pardon for so misinterpreting his 
joyful song. 

"Comrades, we must 'keep it up.' Nothing 
must be given up. Keep up your courage. Keep 


up your faith. Keep up your hope. Keep up the 
Cross. Keep up your strenuous toiling, and so, 
keep up the blessed cause. It is not for long. The 
dayspring is at hand. Jesus will be where we are, 
till we can be where He is. Oh, for increased 
faith, that we may hold Him fast ! " 

The topic for 1903 was " Pulpit Supplies." After 
a graceful reference to the preachers known by this 
name on their occasional visits, the recent voyage 
to the Canaries on ss. Axion was laid under 
contribution, to illustrate " the supply of the Spirit 
of Jesus Christ." There is also the supply of texts 
for sermons. Tholuck well said that " every 
sermon should have Heaven for its father and 
Earth for its mother." Teneriffe supplied the 
thought, " Our hearers should see the Mount of 
Atonement from every standpoint. Tone and 
temper, new views of truth, illustrations and utter- 
ance will all be supplied. Holy boldness, too." 
Mr. Spurgeon then quoted the divisions of one of 
his own sermons, and added that on the following 
Monday, at the prayer meeting, one of the brethren 
thanked God for the word of the Sabbath, and the 
sub-divisions, saying they had been ringing in his 
ear like sweet-toned bells the livelong day. ** And 
what, think you, happened next ? Why ! — ^those 
sub-heads began to chime for me. Oh, how de- 
lightsomely they rang ! I was compelled to listen 
to those charming bells . And this is what they said . 

What God has done, our God can do — 

Can do what He has done ! 
Who from the pit His chosen drew. 
Who all their glorious vict'ries won, 

Ockn do what He has done ! 


Sweet bells of hope, ring out anew, 
He Rahab cut, the dragon slew. 
He can His former acts renew. 
Can do what He has done ! 

What God has done our God will do, 

He'll do what He has done ! 
He keeps His covenant in view. 
He is the never changing One, 

He'll do what He has done ! 
Sweet bells of faith, ring out anew, 
His mercies are not small, nor few. 
His love, though old, is ever new. 

He'll do what He has done I 

What God has done, our God will crown — 

He'll crown what He has done ! 
Best wine at last is His renown. 
The brightest part may be outdone. 

He'll crown what He has done ! 
Sweet bells, ring out o'er all the Town, 
Poor Mansoul's fears for ever drown; 
God's wont has been, the ages down. 

To crown what He has done." 

These words, set to music by Mr. G. W. Gregory, 
whose prayer suggested them, were thereafter sung 
by Madame Annie RyaU. 

" The Baptist " was the subject for 1904. " He 
was the clasp of the Covenants, the loop which 
couples Old and New Testaments. He thought and 
taught imperially ; and while he was yet speaking 
the King appeared." " O men of God, declare 
God's truth at all hazards. It does not need toning 
down, nor trimming up." A fine description of a 
lunar rainbow scene in the Tasmanian bush 
prompts the reflection that " a solar rainbow at 
its worst outshines a lunar rainbow at its best." 


After quoting Wordsworth on " Daffodils," there 
comes the personal witness. *' I sometimes take 
a glance at a precious note-book, containing a list 
of those who professed decision for Jesus during 
my evangelistic tours. I read the names, and, in 
many instances, recall the cases : 

*' And then my heart with pleasure fills. 
And dances with the daffodils." 

" God's Fellow-Workers " was the subject for 
1905, It was given on the heels of a remarkable 
time of blessing at the Tabernacle, and has an 
afterglow in it. " * When God loved He loved a 
world, and when He gave He gave His Son,' said 
Peter Mackenzie. ' The Master is come and calleth 
for thee,' said Sister Dora to herself, every time 
she opened the hospital gate at dead of night." 

The next year's topic was like unto it, " Am- 
bassadors for Christ." Because we occupy this 
high position — " Away with apologies and compro- 
mises. Away with unprepared sermons and half- 
hearted prayers and slovenly services. Away with 
untidiness of person and hastiness of speech, and 
meanness of disposition and littleness of mind. 
Away with self-seeking, and worldly-mindedness, 
and frivolity." The story of the stately Scotch 
divine lingered in the minds of the meeting. Being 
received at a cottage, as he thought too familiarly, 
he said, " * Woman, I am the servant of the Lord, 
come to speak with you on the concerns of your 
soul ! ' ' Then you'll be humble, like your 
Master,' admirably rejoined the cottager." 

" It has been asserted that there are in the Bible 


no less than twenty thousand promises. I hke to 
think of them as my Master's carriages, which He 
keeps for His people to ride in. ' The chariots of 
God are twenty thousand.' Some one said to me a 
while ago, rather superciliously I thought ; ' Have 
you many carriage folk now at the Tabernacle ? ' 
' Why, bless your heart,' I answered, ' we are all 
carriage folk.' Then I explained the mystery to 
him, for he was fairly astonished, I assure you. 
One of my faithful people, when he heard the story, 
declared he would never walk to the Tabernacle 
again. (He evidently had not been one of the 
carriage folk until then.) I related the incident 
at a public meeting a few weeks since, and while I 
was hurrying off to another engagement, a good 
woman hastened after me, despite the rain and 
mud, and exclaimed, ' I say, Mr. Spurgeon, I'm 
going to come to chapel in a carriage now ! ' She 
was gone ere I could add, ' And not to chapel only, 
mind you ride in it to every place, and to every 
duty.' " 

The college motto " Et Teneo, et Teneor,'^ was 
the text of the address in 1907, the Jubilee year. 
" A critic, who came to the Tabernacle a while ago, 
was pleased to declare that so far as he could judge, 
there were not more than six persons of consequence 
and culture present. I will venture to say that 
there was not one person, say what we may about 
the culture, who was not of consequence — to 
Jesus. An Indian, who had been a Hindu, said, 
' When I became a Mohammedan, it was I who 
embraced Mohammedanism, but when I became a 
Christian, it was Christ Who embraced me.' 


Richard Tange used to say, * We launched the 
" Great Eastern," and she launched us.' " 

For 1908 there was "A Comfortable Vision." 
The seven-branched lampstand which Zechariah 
saw was the subject. " I have been helped to 
word this by a sweet poem, which a brother beloved 
forwarded to me in my exile. I quote it, trust- 
ing it may help you also. 

*' It isn't raining rain to me, 

It's raining daffodils; 
In every dimpled drop I see 

Wild flowers on the hills : 
The clouds of grey engulf the day 

And overwhelm the town, 
It isn't raining rain to me. 

It's raining roses down I 

'* It isn't raining rain to me 

But fields of clover bloom, 
Where any buccaneering bee 

May find a bed and room ; 
A health to him that's happy, 

A fig for him that frets ! 
It isn't raining rain to me, 

It's raining violets ! '* 

The final act in the vision, when the topstone is 
brought forth, called forth a peroration which 
thrilled the hearers : 

" I have tried to realize the scene. The news 
has reached the City of the Great King that the 
last of the prodigals is coming home ; so the kind 
angels are crowding to the gate. Gay garlands 
garnish all the streets. Fair flags are fluttering 
everywhere. The bells ring merrily. The city is 
en fHe, The Lamb, Who is the lamp thereof, sheds 


His brightest lustre on the walls of jasper and the 
streets of gold. Those streets are thronged with 
ransomed souls, ' clothed in white robes and palms 
in their hands.' An unusual joy surprises these 
blest inhabitants of Zion. 

" And now the supreme moment has arrived. 
Escorted by a phalanx of the heavenly host, there 
climbeth up the steeps on which the Eternal City 
stands the last believer to quit the Vale of Tears. 
The crest of the heavenly hill is reached. The 
cavalcade sweeps in. The gate of pearl swings to, 
upon its golden pivot. The crowd is closing in, 
and the long procession presses to the Throne. 
One word resounds from every lip — the sweet word 
Grace. The happy angels shout it — Grace, grace ! 
The four and twenty elders shout it — Grace, grace ! 
The spirits of just men made perfect shout it — 
Grace, grace ! The noble army of martyrs shout 
it — Grace, grace ! The glorious company of the 
Apostles shout it — Grace, grace ! But there is one 
voice that rises high above the rest — that of the 
prodigal himself. He is keeping a promise that he 
made on earth, 

" * Then, loudest of the crowd I'll sing. 
While heaven's eternal arches ring 
With shouts of sovereign grace.* 

" And then, met bought a reverent silence fell upon 
the multitude that no man can number, as ' the 
Son of His love ' said unto His Father, ' Here am 
I, and the children whom Thou hast given me, I 
have lost none. They are saved by grace ; * and 
then — and then — ^the innumerable company took 


up the strain, and sent the echo back again. It 
was like the sound of many waters. Grace, grace ! 
Grace, grace ! 

Grace all the work shall crown 

Through everlasting days. 
It lays in heaven the topmost stone. 

And well deserves the praise ! " 

. " The Land of Havilah " was the somewhat 
fanciful title of the 1909 address, though it was 
intensely practical. The artist is in evidence in 
the illustrations. " A successful artist told me the 
other day, that when he first turned to water- 
colours as a medium, he used no less than sixty-four 
pigments. ' Now,' he said, ' I find five or six 
sufficient.' There is a story of Stanhope Forbes, 
of Newlyn. Says a burly fisherman, who had 
been watching operations : ' I can mind you paint- 
in' down here, along twenty years ago, Mr. Forbes. 
Ain't you tired of it yet ? ' And the painter laughs 
as he picks up his kit, and climbs to his home at 
the top of the hill. And we — brethren — we who 
love the Book, are not tired of it, but more enam- 
oured of it than ever." This address contained 
two of Mr. Spurgeon's own poems — " I'm happy 
all the time," and " What a beautiful morning 
that will be." 

One of the greatest sermons C. H. S. ever 
preached was from Job's words, " I have yet to 
speak on God's behalf." T. S. took the revised 
margin, " There are yet words for God," as the 
text of his next address in 1910, " Words for God." 
" For each of the Holy Three we must speak ; for 


the Book ; for the Gospel ; for every righteous 
cause ; for the missionary enterprise." This was 
the prelude to a memorable missionary Conference. 

In 1911 the title of the address, which was built 
on the incident of Joshua and the man with the 
drawn sword, was " The Church and its Captain." 
The Church was considered in relation to its Head, 
and to its inner life. The illustration which caught 
the fancy of the men was of an artist who "was 
visiting a little tidal harbour in ' glorious Devon,' 
in search of 'a bit ' for his brush, and said to an 
old fisherman, ' Is the tide making or falHng ? ' 
' Well,' said he, after looking round as if he had 
not noticed the tide before, ' it's about half-tide, 
sir, and when it begins to make again, I reckon 
(this with a keen glance out to sea) we'll get a blow 
from the east'ard. Most mysterious thing, this 
tide, sir ; why the moon attracts it ; and why the 
wind rises with it as it mostly does, most mysterious 
thing, sir, but ' (with a sweep of the hand toward 
the half-empty harbour) — ' but there it is.' And 
the artist, who by the way, preaches too, bethought 
him of the Spirit and the Word, and the cleansing 
tide, and of the miracles that have been daily 
wrought, and he said within himself, ' Most mys- 
terious thing, but THERE IT IS ; ' and he determined 
that he would be in league with those mysterious 
and omnipotent forces." 

The address ended with the sentence from one 
of his father's letters : " Go on with the Gospel, 
for it is of God, and that which is of God will see 
all the others at Jericho among the tumbling 


One of the greatest Conference addresses was 
given in 1912 — " Salvation by Grace." It was not 
only published in The Sword and Trowel, but in 
Fundamentals, that series of booklets for which 
Dr. Dixon was responsible in America. Quoting 
with approval the definition given by Thomas 
Phillips, in his great sermon at the Philadelphia 
Congress, " Grace is something in God which is 
at the heart of all His redeeming activities, the 
downward stoop and reach of God, God bending 
from the height of His majesty to touch and grasp 
our insignificance and poverty," and following 
it with great words on grace from Dr. Dale, Dr. 
Maclaren, and Dr. Jowett, he recalled Hart's 
quaint verse — the verse which Dr. Horton quotes 
in his biography with some amusement : 

" Everything we do we sin in, 
Chosen Jews 
Must not use 
Woollen mixt with linen.*' 

" No article can be broken beyond repair — the more 
it is smashed the better we like it,^^ was the sentence 
read in a rivetter's shop window ; " and I said 
within myself, ' Thus it is with the grace of God, 
and as long as I live I will tell poor sinners so.' " 

The address had a fine passage toward the end : 
" An unusual opportunity was once afforded me 
of viewing the vessel on which I was a passenger, 
before the voyage was quite complete. After 
nearly three months in a sailing ship, we were 
greeted by a harbour tug, whose master doubtless 
hoped for the task of towing us into port. There 


was, however, a favourable breeze, which, though 
light, promised to hold steady. So the tug's 
services were declined. Anxious to earn an honest 
penny her master ranged alongside the clipper, 
and transhipped such passengers as cared to get 
a view from another deck of the good ship that had 
brought them some fifteen thousand miles. You 
may be sure I was one of them. A delightful 
experience it was to draw away from our floating 
home, to mark her graceful lines, her towering 
masts, her tapering yards, her swelling sails — the 
white wave curling at her fore -feet, and the green 
wake winding astern. From our new view-point 
items that had grown familiar were invested with 
fresh interest. There was the wheel to which we 
had seen six seamen lashed in time of storm, and 
there the binnacle whose sheltered compass had 
been so constantly studied since the start, and 
there the chart-house with its treasures of wisdom, 
and yonder the huge fluked anchors, and over all 
the network of ropes — a tangle to the uninitiated. 
Even the smoke from the galley-fire inspired respect 
as we remembered the many meals that appetites, 
sharpened by the keen air of the southern seas, 
had fastened upon. And yonder is the port of 
one's own cabin ! What marvellous things had 
been viewed through that narrow peephole, and 
what sweet sleep had been enjoyed beneath it, 
' rocked in the cradle of the deep.' Oh ! it was a 
brave sight, that full-rigged ship, so long our ocean 
home, which, despite contrary winds and cross- 
currents, and terrifying gales and tantalizing 
calms, had half compassed the globe, and had 


brought her numerous passengers and valuable 
freight across the trackless leagues in safety. Do 
you wonder that we cheered the staunch vessel, 
and her skilful commander, and the ship's company 
again and again ? I hear the echoes of those 
hurrahs to-day. Do you wonder that we gave 
thanks for a prosperous voyage by the will of God, 
and presently stepped back from the tug-boat to 
the ship without question that what remained 
of the journey would be soon and successfully 
accomplished ? " 

The reputation of Thomas Spurgeon might well 
rest on that bit of descriptive writing, not to be 
excelled and seldom to be equalled, in all sermon 
literature, or in any other literature ; and when he 
came to apply it to the good ship *' Free Grace," 
is it any wonder that the men stood and cheered, 
and that the speaker was taken to their hearts for 
ever ? 

'' We have, perchance, a few more leagues to 
cover," he said, in concluding. " We may even 
stand off and on a while near the harbour mouth, 
but, please God, we shall have abundant entrance 
at last. To-day we have circled the ship, and I 
call on every passenger to bless her in the name of 
the Lord, and to shout the praise of Him Who 
owns and navigates her. All honour and blessing 
be unto the God of Grace, and unto the Grace of 
God ! Ten thousand, thousand thanks to Jesus ! 
and to the blessed Spirit equal praise!" 

" The Preacher's Purpose " was the theme for 
19 13. Speaking of naturalness in delivery, ' ' ' There 
is room for a natural painter,' said Constable, 


and forthwith filled the void by selecting homely 
themes and treating them artlessly — by which 
I do not mean unskilfully. ' I have always 
succeeded best with my nature scenes,' he said, 
' they have always charmed, and I hope they 
always will.' And they always did ! If we are to 
preach of sin we cannot make it too sinful, or man's 
state by nature too desperate. When Turner 
mourned the passing of Wilkie, he painted a 
picture of his death at sea. ' You are painting the 
sails very black,' said Stanfield. He rephed, ' If 
I could find anything blacker than black I would 
use it.' While still a village preacher C. H. Spur- 
geon used to say, ' Souls, souls, souls. I hope this 
rings in my ears, and hurries me on.' " 

" Sweet Spring " was a fragrant message for 

1914. Spring in the soil, in the sky, in the sea, at 
the sepulchre, in the soul, in the study, in the 
school, in the sanctuary. It would need to be all 
quoted to catch its charm. 

" Our Most Delightful Guest," the address for 

1915, was not delivered owing to the President's 
illness, but it had been printed in preparation and 
was distributed. It is a fitting climax to the series 
of addresses, ending on the note that would have 
been chosen had Mr. Spurgeon known it was to be 
his last. " Inviting me to a certain church to 
preach, my correspondent said, by way of further 
inducement, ' We will give you a spikenard wel- 
come.' I am sure that is the kind of welcome that 
befits the Spirit. When Mr. Moody — grand, rug- 
ged, tender-hearted Moody — I having begged a 
corner in the hearts and prayers of the people — ^said 


bluntly, ' Not a bit of it, we've got no corners 
in our hearts for Spurgeon's son. Come right 
along,' I fancy that was a spikenard welcome." 

The message in 1916 was but a fragment, brief 
but delightful : the topic " A Bridge -Building 
Brotherhood." '' The task before us is noble, 
joyful, responsible, and will be well paid. Every 
stone must be well and truly laid. Woe — woe to 
the spiritual jerry builder ! ' Sir,' said a builder's 
foreman breathlessly, ' all that row of houses has 
collapsed.' Whereupon, the master replied, wrath- 
fuUy, ' Didn't I tell you not to take down the 
scaffolding till you had put up the wall-papers ? ' 
In just such flimsy fashion some have built bridges, 
which have proved refuges of lies." 

In 1917 the Conference itself, owing to war 
conditions, was greatly curtailed, being restricted 
to one day, and Mr. Spurgeon was too ill to be 
present. In 1918 another brief session was held, 
and it fell to Mr. F. A. Jackson and me to dehver 
memorial tributes to our friend. In the corner 
sat Mrs. Spurgeon and her daughter, and we all 
shared their grief. Who can tell what the next 
Conference will reveal, or whether there will ever 
be another ? 



When I was guest in the Spurgeon home in 1900, 
it was arranged that we should visit Paris and 
Switzerland together that summer. So in July, 
only waiting for the Christian Endeavour Con- 
vention at the Alexandra Palace, we set forth — 
Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon, Mrs. Fullerton, and I. At 
the last moment a perplexity arose, for Manton 
Smith, my comrade in mission service for fifteen 
years, died the day before, and I scarcely knew 
whether to go or stay. At length it was arranged 
that I should accompany the party to Paris, and 
return for my friend's funeral. But on the way 
I heard that the funeral had to be hastened, and 
so it came to pass that I was unable to show a last 
tribute of love to the honoured man with whom 
my life had been so happily linked. Instead, I 
had to content myself with writing six or eight 
appreciations of him for various journals at odd 
times during our early Paris days. 

My friend. Dr. Reuben Saillens, had kindly 
arranged accommodation for us, though in the 
Exhibition year it was rather difficult. When I 
first wrote he thought it would be impossible, but 
one of his members at the church, which was then 
in the Rue Meslay, going on holiday, vacated his 
appartement in the Rue Fourcroy for us, and so 
16 241 


during our stay we had a little suite of four rooms 
three stories up, with a housekeeper who came in 
the morning and left in the afternoon. Needless 
to say, we came into close contact : the dining-room 
was so tiny that those who came in last had to go 
out first, for there was no room to pass. Here I 
had the joy of introducing Monsieur and Madame 
Saillens to my fellow-travellers. Mr. Spurgeon 
fell ill during our stay, and when we called in 
Dr. Monod to advise us, I remember amongst other 
things he said, in his charming English, " You 
English are so funny. You think that eggs make 
you bilious because they are yel — low ! " 

For a week we did full justice to the " Exposi- 
tion," and Mr. Spurgeon, unable to start for 
Switzerland on the appointed day, followed us there 
some days later, Mrs. Spurgeon, on account of the 
children, being compelled to return home. 

That prolonged stay at Riederfurka was a time 
of unalloyed joy. I have been there so often that 
it almost seems like home to me, but to him it had 
all the charm of magnificent novelty. The chalet 
where we had our rooms, facing the little hotel, 
looks on one side to the Rhone Valley, and on the 
other to the Aletsch glacier, the largest in Europe. 
On the ridge the only other house is the pretentious 
villa built by Sir Ernest Cassel, who has chosen 
his site well. On the south is a splendid panorama 
of snow peaks, Monte Leone, Fletschorn, Monte 
Rosa, and others ; on the north, Fieschorn, 
Finsteraarhorn, and others ; and, after a walk of 
five minutes, the great stretch of the glacier to the 
east ; and one of the most superb views in the 


Alps in the west — Mischabel and Weisshorn, with 
the Matterhorn between. 

Excursions on the hillside were varied by descents 
to the ice. As my wife sketched, Mr. Spurgeon 
resumed his work with the pencil, which he had 
laid aside for a while, and I read to both the artists 
as they vied with each other in catching the glories 
of the view. Across the glacier is Bel Alp with 
the cottage beyond built by Professor Tyndall 
at the foot of the Sparrenhorn, which, in their 
early days, Mr. Spurgeon's father and mother had 
climbed, afterwards crossing the very ridge where 
we had our dwelling, then bare and unappreciated, 
seven thousand feet above the level of the sea. 

One day we were gladdened by the arrival of a 
great party of friends, who were journeying in 
the contrary direction — Mr. and Mrs. Higgs and 
family, Mr. and Mrs. Amsden and friends, with a 
retinue of porters, and after some photographs 
were taken, we had the pleasure of escorting them 
to the place where the ice could be the easiest 

Another day we went to the Concordia Hut, 
high up, just beneath the south face of the Jung- 
frau, and we spent the night there, literally under 
the snow, for our blankets were white with it in 
the morning. On the return journey Mr. Spurgeon, 
who had only an alpenstock to help him, accident- 
ally dropped it as we were crossing some difficult 
ice, and away it went glissading towards a crevasse, 
where it fortunately stuck, and was presently 
recovered by our guide. The traveller sitting on 
his mackintosh on a hummock of ice the while, 


unable to move, was less happy than I have ever 
seen him anywhere else. 

We had a royal time together, and afterwards, 
making a short tour by the Grimsel and the Brunig 
to Lucerne, with a brief visit to Murren, where we 
saw a double rainbow more vivid than any of us 
ever conceived rainbows could be, the holiday 
ended with a very closely cemented friendship. 
When he got home, Mr. Spurgeon wrote : "I shall 
never cease to rejoice over this happy holiday, the 
best I have ever had." 

A close friendship also began with Dr. Saillens. 
Already they had known each other by correspon- 
dence, and Mr. Spurgeon had taken a deep interest 
in the French students of the Pastors' College ; 
now he took under his wing the English Auxiliary, 
which helps to evangelize France, and very greatly 
helped it in the coming years. On October 25th, 
1900, he writes : " The trustees have fallen in 
with my suggestion as to helping Pasteur Saillens. 
M. Blocher is to be known as our agent." 

At the invitation of M. le Pasteur he visited 
Paris again with Mrs. Spurgeon a few years later. 
'* We wanted our people to know him," writes the 
eloquent French pastor, " and we felt that his 
message to them would be most beneficial. There 
is another consideration, equally important, which 
prompted us to urge him to come. Before the 
war there were always a large number of English 
and American residents in Paris, besides the 
multitudes of tourists who come for a few days or 
a few weeks to enjoy the sights and pleasures of 
our capital. We have heard an estimate, which 


seems fairly accurate : there were thirty thousand 
EngHsh- speaking settlers in Paris and its suburbs. 
Of that number only a small proportion were con- 
nected with the churches, while the vast majority 
— shop-assistants, clerks, art-students, etc. — had no 
sort of religious life. Away from home-restraining 
influences, many of these young people caught the 
worldly spirit, which was so prevalent in Paris, even 
more badly than the real Parisians ; for in this, as in 
the case of some infectious diseases, it often happens 
that new-comers get it even worse than the natives. 

" How Paris has changed since then ! 

" For all these reasons we were anxious that our 
dear friend should come to us for as long a period as 
possible ; but he was not able to give us more than 
a week or so in the spring of 1902. Our mission 
church was full, both on Sunday and through the 
week. Mr. Spurgeon was a most easy speaker to 
interpret. Our people were delighted with him. 
He also preached in English in the Roquepine 
Methodist Chapel, a beautiful building situated right 
in the midst of the fashionable quarter, and that 
place also was full. He made a deep impression. 

" I remember our trip to Chantilly by motor-car, 
which became so unmanageable by the way that 
we were compelled to return by train to be in time 
for the evening meeting. There are few men whom 
it has been so delightful to welcome under our roof. 
Since then many have been the occasions when we 
have worked, conversed, prayed together in 
London. He was changed physically, but he was 
as gentle, peaceful, submitted — and as bright, too — 
as we had ever seen him." 


It will be remembered, as set forth in Chapter VI., 
that his first Continental visit was with his father 
to Mentone. Already we have mentioned the visit 
to Carlsbad in 1907. From thence he moved to 
Garmisch and Levico, where Mrs. Spurgeon joined 
him, and in a little while they went together for 
a tour to Venice, Florence, Rome and Genoa, 
retm^ning to Meran in the Tyrol for the winter. 
Here the invalid settled down to take the cure. 
Mrs. Spurgeon left him, as they had let their house 
in London, and there were many things there 
needing attention ; but he was soon joined by his 
dear friend, William Higgs, afterwards by Dr. 
McCaig, and still later, by Mr. F. A. Jackson, who for 
The Sword and Trowel, March 1908, wrote a charm- 
ing article on his visit. He says : " The surround- 
ings of Meran are commanding and interesting. 
Forst, Naturno, Tirol, Schoeuna, Lana, Marling — 
Mr. Spurgeon has made a sketch in each place. We 
would go out in the morning after breakfast, and 
select a suitable position for a picture ; then I would 
leave him to his work, in which he became quite 
absorbed, wander further afield, and come back to 
him later in the day. The sketching has been of real 
interest to him, and a distinct boon. Levico, Gar- 
misch, Genoa, Bozen, Meran, all bear witness, in his 
portfolio, to his gift and skill with the brush." In 
The Sword and Trowel for the following month Mr. 
Jackson also contributed a fine poem on "Meran." 

Mr. Spurgeon returned to England in time for 
the College Conference, over which he presided 
with much ability and acceptance. In his pre- 
sidential address there are two references to the 


Tyrol. *' Tradition says that Duke Frederick of 
the Tyrol, unjustly nicknamed ' of the empty 
pocket,' by way of refutation of the libel, erected 
the golden roof at Innsbruck. Let those who are 
disposed to forget how opulent God is call to mind 
the golden roof that He has built." " Divine erec- 
tions are unruinable. I have sojourned a long time 
in the Tyrol, where ruined castles abound. A while 
ago a castle could be bought for something less than 
a five pound note. They have lasted longer than the 
armies and the pomp of which they are now almost 
the only relics, but they themselves have nearly 
passed away. The Spirit builds for eternity." 

On three occasions Norway was visited : the 
first time in company with Mr. and Mrs. J. K. 
Slater, of Liverpool, in August, 1905 ; the second, 
with Mr. W. Mannington, of Robertsbridge ; and 
the third, with his son on his coming of age in 1912 ; 
but no details of these journeys are available. In 
1904, in company with the Slaters, he crossed to 
New York just for the sake of the voyage, returning 
by the next boat. The Sunday evening was spent 
as listeners in Dr. MacArthur's church ; after the 
service, when they made themselves known. Dr. 
MacArthur was so overjoyed to see Mr. Spurgeon 
that he kissed him on both cheeks. In 1903, in 
the company of Mr. James Hall of the Tabernacle, 
the Canary Islands were visited, and in 1902 a 
voyage round the British Islands is reported to 
Mr. Slater in a series of postcards. In 1906 a 
projected visit to the States, to take the services 
in Tremont Temple, Boston, during July and 
August, had to be cancelled owing to ill-health. 


At one time Mr. Spurgeon indulged the hope of 
visiting the Continental churches — Dutch, German, 
Scandinavian, Russian, — and had gone so far in 
his thinking out the plan as to choose his com- 
panions for the journey ; but that is only one of 
the things that might-have-been. 

He always had the traveller's heart, and was 
never so happy as when he was visiting new scenes 
or moving forward amid surroundings that were 
familiar. He delighted to watch a good cricket 
match, and was at home on the golf links, but 
even at ordinary times his most refreshing holiday 
was a few hours spent on board one of the river 
steamers which go out as far as Walton-on-the- 
Naze. Southwold was his favourite holiday resort ; 
here Mr. F. A. Jackson often spent a week with 
him, as also at Ilkley, Shankhn, and Brighton. 
With Mrs. Spurgeon he visited for holiday Scot- 
land, Jersey, Derbyshire, Berwick, Blackpool, the 
Isle of Man, and, in later artist days, Devon and 
Cornwall. His mind never seemed to turn either 
to the Far East or to the Near East, his early 
colonial experience, perhaps, giving him a bias 
toward civilizations and countries that were new 
rather than those that were ancient; but always 
his chief joy was the sea, the wide and the open 
sea. Not without justification did his father in 
playful mood call him " his stormy petrel." 

That he could make good use in the pulpit of 
the incidents of travel will be seen by his description 
of an experience of his during his visit to Ireland. 

" It was my lot last Monday to visit a place some 
twenty miles, I suppose, from the city of Dublin, 


a favourite resort for pleasure-seekers and holiday- 
makers ; one of the most striking and beautiful 
bits of scenery to be discovered even in fair Ireland. 
I looked from the top of a gigantic archway down 
into the depths of a sunlit valley. A roaring 
cascade leaped under my feet, and far down in the 
bottom of the glade I saw the red coats of the 
soldiery, for a military picnic, you must know, was 
in progress, and the soldiers and their wives and 
children were enjoying themselves in this pictur- 
esque spot. Presently, I and my friends descended, 
looked up at the falling waters and gazed at the 
tall trees that almost spanned the gulf and, with 
their bright and fresh green leaves, beautified and 
blest the scene. 

" Walking a while amongst the pathways under 
the steep precipice, my eyes presently discovered, 
clinging to the rock half-way up the cliff, the form 
of a young man. I said to the friend who stood 
beside me, ' See yonder man, what does he there ? 
Is he not in a most dangerous predicament ? He 
cannot ascend, for the cliff is too steep above him ; 
he dare not look down, or he would be broken to 
shivers at the foot of the precipice.' And, as I 
looked, my heart beat high with anxiety, till I saw 
that he was calling out for help, and that some of 
his brother soldiers on the top of the cliff had 
heard his cry and were hastening to his relief. 
Even to me the seconds seemed like minutes, and 
the minutes grew, or seemed to grow, to hours. 
What, think you, did they seem to him, who at any 
instant might have been dashed to his death ! 

*' There seemed to me to be a good share of bustle 


and confusion. Hither and thither the men were 
running. Presently, to my great rejoicing, I saw 
one hurry up the pathway with a rope. It looked 
to me to be all too thin and frail and scarcely long 
enough, and so, indeed, it proved to be ; for, as 
they tried to shake it down to this poor, clinging 
lad, it soon appeared that it could not reach him. 
If it had reached him, I doubt very much if it 
would have borne his weight and sufficed to pull 
him up to safety. There was still further delay, 
but presently we beheld strong men, with strong 
ropes, hastening to their comrade's rescue. They 
tied a heavy piece of wood to the end of the rope 
and then shook it down the acclivity — which, 
though very steep, was cumbered with the trunks 
and roots of trees — that so the rope might reach 
the man ; and presently — much to our joy we beheld 
it — ^the rope reached him and he reached it, for you 
may be sure he strove as much as he was able to 
embrace that saving cord. He clutched it with 
both his hands, and then to my surprise — for I 
thought he must have been by that time exhausted 
— he began to climb the cliff. I think he must 
have been a sailor once, though a soldier now, for 
he scrambled up that rope hand over fist, and I 
heard a cheer and voices of congratulation when he 
was safe once more ; and as I saw it, this text came 
more forcibly than it has ever done before to my 
mind, ' He sent from above. He took me ; He 
drew me out of many waters ' ; for certain it is 
that this poor man had not only been dashed in 
pieces, but had been submerged by the roaring 
waters, too, if deliverance had not arrived." 



When the Spurgeons moved to their latest and 
smallest home, by mutual agreement they burned 
the letters they had written to each other during 
the years ; there were so many of them and such 
little room. They also destroyed quite a number 
of others which his biographer wishes had been 
preserved. As it is, a few hidden in odd corners 
escaped the fire, and a few others were counted 
precious enough to be reserved in the day of 

There is, for instance, a note from George Miiller, 
signed " yours affectionately in the Lord " ; a 
letter from F. B. Meyer, written on behalf of one 
hundred and twenty ministers, assuring Mr. 
Spurgeon of their sympathy as he began his work 
at the Tabernacle ; one from J. G. Greenhough 
protesting against an unfair paragraph in The 
Freeman in reference to the settlement at the 
Tabernacle, and expressing in felicitous terms his 
personal good wishes ; one from Professor W. W. 
Clow, with the interesting paragraph, " May I 
say that, as I spent my boyhood in Auckland, 
N.Z., my interest in your work has a certain 



depth of colour, apart from the more enduring and 
nobler reasons which make your name and your 
ministry of the Word so much to be revered '* ; one 
from Joseph Cook, congratulating him on being 
called to London, " The soul of your sainted father, 
I have no doubt, is your guardian spirit." There 
is also a note from a publishing firm, acknowledging 
Mr. Spurgeon's criticism of a book : " No doubt 
there must be a good deal in the view you have 
adopted of this little tale, and, whilst I have had 
many other criticisms from clergymen, I have none 
dictated in the same spirit as yours. Still, as I say, 
I thank you for it, and it has been the means of 
making me decide not, under any circumstances, 
to publish it in any of our papers " — an interesting 
sidelight on the hidden influence of a religious 
leader. There is also a very grateful letter from 
his grandfather. Rev. John Spurgeon. 

Two letters may be transcribed in full : one from 
Dr. Parker, dated December 20th, 1893 ; the other 
from General Booth, dated January 29th, 1907. 

" Deab Mr. Spuegeon, 

" I want you to do me a favour. I am tired. 
I must rest a while. Within the period of my rest 
one Thursday occurs — viz. Thursday, January 
11th. I want you to take my 12 o'clock service 
at the City Temple on that day. Do it, and thus 
please us all. We divide the collection into equal 
parts, one for you, one for us." 

" I leave the case with your generous heart, 
" Ever cordially yours, 

" Joseph Parker." 


Mr. Spurgeon did not accept the invitation, nor 
later, at the opening of the new Tabernacle, when 
Dr. Parker indirectly conveyed to him his willing- 
ness to speak at the opening services, did Mr. 
Spurgeon invite him. But on December 8th, 1902, 
he wrote to a friend : " Dr. Parker has gone. So 
soon after Hugh Price Hughes' sudden departure. 
I was at the funeral service in each case. One 
forgets even the ' open letter ' at the open grave." 

The Salvation Army letter was evidently most 

" Dear Pastor Spurgeon, 

'' I fear I was somewhat physically under 
the effort at my meeting at the Tabernacle the 
other evening, but I hope a large amount of good 
was done. I am sorry you were unable to be 
with us. 

" Please receive herewith cheque for fifty pounds 
towards your Spurgeon College Jubilee Fund. 
May God give you and your fellow-workers every 

*' Very sincerely, 

" William Booth." 

From his old friend. Rev. Levi Palmer, of 
Taunton, a letter dated October 9th, 1900, has 
been preserved, with the comment in the corner, 
"a Treasure, indeed, T. S." "Well done, my 
strong friend," his correspondent writes, " you 
have passed through what not one minister in ten 
thousand is ever called to face. Now remember ! 


if thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength 
is small. And yet God's Elijahs pass from Carmel 
to Horeb, and from victory to despondency. 
Maybe, by the time this reaches you, you will 
have been brought down into the valley : if so 
do not forget the sights you had when on the 

Several letters speak of blessing through the 
ministry of the Word, and one old lady declares, 
" The very way you say the name of Jesus makes 
me love Him more." In one of his sermons he 
says : "I am by no means able to keep all the 
letters I receive, but there are some amongst them 
that never find a resting-place in the grate or the 
waste-paper basket. I have a whole sheaf of them 
by now. I look at them with tearful eyes and 
thankful heart sometimes. These letters tell of 
blessings received through sermons, addresses, and 
letters. I like to spread them before the Lord, 
and say, ' Lord, the praise for this belongs to Thee.' 
I am grateful to those friends who tell me of the 
blessings they have received, but all glory be to 
God, for it was He Who gave the seed, and then 
made it fruitful." But that sheaf of letters has 

Letters from his father have been drawn upon 
in other chapters. It must suffice here to give a 
few extracts from others. They show the delightful 
relations between father and son. 

" When you have need tell me, and it will not 
be in vain." 

In sending a wedding gift : "I have never had 
much for self or son because the work needs it, and 


must have it. In all your future way the God of 
our fathers watch over you for good, and make 
you a blessing to the nations." 

There are two letters from Mentone : '' These 
olive groves remind me of you, and make me feel 
how much I lose by your distance from me. Still, 
the Lord's work is all the better done by your being 
in the southern world, and so let it be. 

" Your father in the flesh and 
" Your brother in Christ, 

" C. H. Spurgeon." 

'' In this lovely retreat I cannot but remember 
those happy times when you were here with me, 
and made even the Riviera sun more bright." 

From Westwood there are letters on all sorts of 
topics, but love is in them all. 

" January 8th is our silver wedding day. How 
old your parents are getting ! They love their 
dear sons more and more, and have nothing but 
joy in them. Our golden blessing rests upon you 
evermore. Your mother loves you as much as 
Rebekah did Jacob, and we have no Esau. Your 
father joys in his absent Jacob as much as in his 
firstborn. You are more of Israel than Jacob, 
there will, therefore, be no need to suppose that we 
suspect you of any of Jacob's faults. You will not 
come home with twelve sons and a daughter, for 
you will not have a Leah to be the envy of Rachel, 
who will be the una sola. 

" All my heart flies out to you." 

'' I can't write letters like you, but I love you 
as much as if I could write from here to New 


Zealand, and all in capital letters. I have only 
joy in thinking of you. God bless you ! " 

" You are daily my delight. The Lord streng- 
then you is my heart's prayer. Shall I ever see 
you with these spectacled eyes ? I see you now 
with the eyes of my heart." 

" The Lord spare you long to the Church for 
which you have done so much, and to your parents 
to whose hearts you are so dear. I pray heaven's 
reserved benediction may descend upon you in a 
manner beyond that which any other has enjoyed. 
My love is ever with you as it communes with you." 

" How I joy in God because of you ! Son of 
my heart, the Lord be praised for making you so 
firm in the faith, so zealous for souls, so regardless 
of man's opinion. The Lord be with you and give 
you long life, and power from on high yet more 
abundantly. Be whose you may, it will be all one 
to me if God is glorified in you. My plans about 
having you to assist me were scattered to the wind, 
and I have never dreamed again of the matter. 
The Lord has called you to stand foot to foot with 
me, the whole earth between ; so keep your footing 
and God bless you. Yet may we live to meet 
again, not once or twice." 

" Dear Son, need I say how much I love you. I 
will not attempt to do more than to say again, 
' God bless you.' Happy will be the day when my 
eyes behold you. I put you again into my heavenly 
Father's hand. None but He shall have my son. 
May His presence be a bright reality to you 1 " 

'' I hope you are cheered by the smile of our 
Great Father. He will not fail you. You have 


had a heavy dose of bitters, and I doubt not it will 
brace you if only it does not burden your heart* 
I rejoice in you, and pray the Lord to bear you up 
and bear you through, as indeed He will. How I 
wish I could see you. Get strong, and when I am 
older and feebler be ready to take my place." 

The last letter is dated Mentone, December 15th, 

" As I write I have sweet memories of your 
delightful companionship with me in this land of 
the sun. I seem to hear your pleasant voice even 
now. The Lord bless thee, my son, and thy 
spouse, and the little one. 

" I write this day joyfully because I feel better 
than for many a month. I am weak, but I have 
the hope that I have turned the cold corner and 
am turning to the warmer side of the hill. I am 
indeed a debtor to my Lord and to the prayers of 
His people, that I now live in the hope of perfect 
restoration and in the expectation of future service. 

" And your mother is here. I know it is true 
for I see her, otherwise I could not believe it. And 
she is — well — she is splendid. I pray the Lord to 
guide you in your tried path. I think you must 
settle somewhere in the Antipodes, because you 
could not bear the fogs of Old England. My hope 
is that some city will be grateful yet for your 
laborious and valuable services. You have yet 
a glorious work to do. The coming of a family 
about you points to a pastorate. God will open 
a door into ' a large place.' God's own true 
benediction rest upon thee." 

Three other letters have imwittingly been pre- 


served ; a few extracts may fittingly follow those 
other heart words from father to son. This time 
it is from the son to the grandson in New Zealand. 
The first is written on board the Pacific steamer ; 
the letter which had to be repeated to the two-year- 
old boy innumerable times. 

'' What do you think is on board the ship. I 
wonder if mother knows ? Shall I tell you ? Two 
lovely gee-gees and ever so many sheep — poor 
things, they do not look happy, they would rather 
be in the fields. And what else ? Three kan- 
garoos ! Only fancy. But they are in big cages. 
The other day they let one out, and he hopped all 
round the deck like mother does when she plays 
at Kangaroo with dear little Harold. One of the 
kangaroos has died ! ' It was too old to go in the 
big steamer, and felt very ill, and at last it died, 
and they threw his body overboard. Aren't you 
sorry for his poor wife and little Joey ? Last night 
a great big bird flew on deck, with such a funny 
name. They called him a Booby. We let him go 
again, and he said, ' Quack, quack,' instead of 
' Thank you.' Good-bye, my dear little ' unmiti- 
gated humbug.' " 

The second letter is from London on August 3rd. 
" Mother doesn't like water and ships," it says, 
" because they have taken father away from her, 
but perhaps they will bring him back some day. 
Hip, hip, hooray ! When father comes marching 

The third, written the same month, is chiefly 
about some portraits received from New Zealand. 
" Harold looks such a dear, laughing, loving little 


fellow " ; and the fond father's heart goes out in 
longing for the day they will soon meet again, and 
sends his love to sister Vera. 

Mr. Spurgeon had a genius for letter-writing. 
As one puts it, " he was a master of affectionate 
phrasing." In normal times he wrote with his 
own hand twenty to thirty letters a day ; many 
of these were, of course, brief acknowledgments o 
gifts or responses to requests made to him, but not 
a few were worthy of being preserved, as they have 
been, by many of his friends. 

Between Mr. William Higgs and Mr. Spurgeon 
there existed a very deep friendship for many years. 
Two letters addressed to him may be taken as 
samples of others. The first was written after the 
wreck of a channel steamer, when Mr. and Mrs. 
Higgs were on board ; the second on his Jubilee. 

"Saturday, January 5th, 1895. 

" My own dear Friend, 

" I cannot describe my emotions as I read 
this morning's paper, nor my gratitude when I 
found that you were delivered from your extreme 
peril. It has fallen to your lot to be shipwrecked, 
and you and yours are monuments of sparing 
mercy. The Lord be praised ! 

" My eyes swim with tears at the thought of the 
danger to which you and your dear ones have been 
exposed, and my heart swells with joy that you are 
preserved to one another, and to me, and to the 
work of God. Ah, me ! how little do we know 
what awaits us. I could not help fearing that you 
would have a stormy passage, though I spoke 


cheerily about it to Mrs. Higgs, but I little dreamed 
of this. How unfortunate you seem to be as to 
crossing over — yet how fortunate ! It must have 
been a very alarming and exciting experience for 
you all, but I feel sure your brave heart would stay 
itself upon God, and so grow braver still. How 
good it was of you to send me a wire. I longed for 
it, but hardly hoped for it. It has comforted us 
greatly. We must all give thanks to-morrow in 
the house of the Lord. 

" I am lonely without you, but not so lonely as 
I was a year ago. With loving congratulations, 
" I am thankfully yours, 

" Tom Spurgeon." 

''May I5th, 1902. 

" My very dear Friend, 

" I have quite a large assortment of pens, 
but I don't know which one to use on this occasion. 
Truth to tell I have none facile enough, none 
graphic enough to tell you of my thought concerning 
you and my love for you. 

" I thank God that you are spared to be fifty, 
though I could wish you were growing younger 
rather than older. Yet ' such is life.' We grow 
old together. My heart blesses you for all you have 
been to me and done for me and for my work. The 
paint and gilt of the Tabernacle owe, if I mistake 
not, their refreshing to your consideration and 
liberality. You are always gilding something or 
somebody — bless you ! 

" I thank God for you, and on your fiftieth 
birthday I greet you with a very special joy. May 


your health improve, and your soul prosper I May 
you have increasing joy in your dear ones — wife 
and sons and daughters ! May your heart be 
cheered by the sight of the longed-for blessing at 
the Tabernacle, and may you ever know assuredly 
that you are the Pastor's dearest friend. 

" My better half bids me greet you on her behalf, 
and say all sorts of kind things for her. But she 
must say them herself when she sees you. I am 
sure you will prefer that. 

" May I ask you to accept a little love token. I 
fear I may not have hit upon an appropriate 
present. Yet this is a special volume, its main 
fault being that the builder of the Tabernacle is 
not (for some unaccountable reason) numbered 
amongst the notables. 

" With all kind congratulations and good wishes, 
" I am, dear friend, 

" Yours affectionately, 

" Tom Spurgeon." 

Extracts from the himdreds of other letters that 
have been passed in review must suffice ; those 
sentences have been selected that reveal the heart 
of the writer rather than the circumstances of the 
moment. It will not always be necessary even to 
give dates. 

Rev. F. A. Jackson has a wealth of correspond- 
ence which yields the following. The dates range 
from 1906 to 1917. 

" So you have taken to the woods again ! How 
I would like to be the other Babe. It is better to 


paint one's face (with wind and snn and rain) than 
the Matter horn with water-colours." 

" I have had a few days on the moors. The 
heather was past its prime, but the sohtude ! oh ! 
it was good to be there." 

October 21st, 1914. — " I must send you a Hne for 
I have good news. This evening I received a 
telegram from Harold as follows, ' Gold medal. 
Second of all.' I know you will be glad to hear 
this. He has gone to-day to take up a position in 
a school as classical tutor, and his address is ' The 
Abbey, Tipperary.' It is a long way, but he has 
got there." 

Dr. A. McCaig was favoured with hundreds of 
letters, but many of these are technical. On 
January 24th, 1905, about the time of the Welsh 
Revival, Mr. Spurgeon wrote to him : " The spirit of 
hope is in the Metropolis. It is the harbinger of true 
reviving. God is about to glorify His great name. 
I ask constant prayer for my own heart, life, and 
Church-work." Later in the year: "My muse 
awoke this morning, and I wrote ' So Shine,' but I 
am not sure that she would not have done better to 
sleep on." Next year he writes : "I seem always 
to be fixing something up : services or shelves or 
sinners or saints or something " ; and again, " I 
have nothing to say except thanks, thanks, thanks, 
thanks to God for His wonderful mercy, and thanks 
to friends innumerable for their gulf stream of 
tender sympathy," — this with reference to his 

Dr. J. W. Ewing has treasured some letters. To 


him Mr. Spurgeon wrote, " Your affectionate 
greeting greatly gladdened me. I love to be loved. 
Who does not ? " When, at the beginning of 1903, 
Rye Lane Chapel was renovated, this : " Haven't 
you an extension scheme on, and won't there be a 
bringing of grist to the mill one of these fine days ? 
Well, here is a peck of rye for Rye Lane, Peckham. 
God bless the miller ! " 

" I myself have been hors de combat I thought 
to get past the Sunday following the Conference 
on the crest of the wave, but I slipped into the 
trough of the sea. I was nearly swamped, but 
have been in dry dock at Liverpool and Southport. 
I managed to make the port of ' Sweet Home ' 
under jury rig yesterday, and am now refitting to 
sail on Sunday next." 

" I have been useless enough for two long years," 
he writes on April 14th, 1909 ; " yet I still cling 
to the hope that I may yet speak on God's behalf." 

" I have just discovered that you are off to the 
West Indies. Were Bristol nearer I should be 
there to wave farewell. I was once almost setting 
sail to Jamaica myself, but was prevented, as 
also when I essayed to go again to U.S.A. But 
perhaps my travelling days are done." 

To Rev. Phihp A. Hudgell he writes : " Though 
I am no longer in the forefront of the battle it is 
mine to wait, and watch, and make intercession. 
The days are shadowed, but the children of light 
are not afraid of the dark — and the morning com^th,'' 
To Rev. C. Douglas Crouch : "I have had three 
weeks' holiday lately (in a bath-chair) at Bridling- 
ton." To Rev. Austin L. Edwards : "I could 


wish that more of the students felt called to serve 
their King and country in this desperate time." 
To Rev. E. H. Ellis, on his settlement at the East 
London Tabernacle : '' ' I will go in the strength of 
the Lord ' is your brave determination, and ' Cer- 
tainly I will be with you ' is the starry promise of 
the great I Am." To Miss Batts, of Auckland : 
" It is indeed gratifying to be remembered by 
friends from whom in the Lord's providence — 
strange, yet surely good — we have been separated." 
To Miss Weekes, at the Tabernacle : " The texts 
were very helpful, especially ' After this lived Job 
a hundred and forty years.' " 

From the bundle of letters written to me during 
the years, I find one dated March 2nd, 1896, 
beginning : "On Friday last the following cable- 
gram came from the Secretary of the Auckland 
Tabernacle, New Zealand : ' Blaikie resigned ; it 
is reported that Brown and Fullerton contemplate 
visiting Colonies. Could either or any one else 
supply ? How soon, and for how long ? ' " It 
was a baseless rumour in each case. From other 
communications I extract but a few sentences : 
" I love your letters because I love you. Moreover, 
they are themselves lovely." " Many thanks for 
what you call your mist of words in November 
Sword and Trowel. I would not have missed 
them for anything. I forgot the horrors of the 
London ' particular,' which still prevails, while 
reading them. Encore ! Encore ! " "It is a 
special joy to greet you as you enter the pulpit 
of the new Metropolitan Tabernacle. You need 
not to be assured of a welcome from a Tabernacle 


audience, for you have been greatly beloved among 
us these many years. Moreover, not a few of your 
converts are to be found in the flock." 

From Bavaria he sent a spontaneous postcard 
dated July 12th, 1907, on the eve of my visit 
to China. 

" Dear friend Fullerton, 

" I understand that you are to ' farewell ' 
at the Tabernacle. I am glad of that, and wish 
I could be among the throng of well-wishers. Yejt, 
believe me, no one, in or out of that throng, is more 
desirous than I for the safe convoy of yourself and 
your comrade, or more anxious for an altogether 
successful issue to your tour. I rejoice that you 
have been selected for this honourable embassy. 
I wish you a prosperous journey by the will of God. 
You will do good, and get good, I am sure, and 
your dear ones will be in the shelter of His Hand. 

" The Lord send you good speed this day ! 
" I am your friend, 

" Thomas Spurgeon." 

And since I have been at the Baptist Mission 
House, he has often shown his interest in the work 
of the Baptist Missionary Society. In sending a 
donation on February 3rd, 1915, he writes : "I 
trust that the well is springing. You cannot have 
a drop too much for so great and good a work. 
The Lord give you, my brother, colossal strength 
for a gigantic task*" 



The wish of his mother, loyally obeyed by " Son 
Tom " at school, will be remembered — '' I want 
particularly to say to you that you are sure not to 
take drawing lessons from anybody " ; and her 
prophecy will not be forgotten — " Surely some day, 
if you wish it, you will rise to eminence in your 

The day came when he wished it. During one 
of his illnesses the desire suddenly seized him to 
paint, and though prostrate he produced two little 
pictures which adorn the walls of his drawing-room 
still. This started him on a new career when his 
preaching days were over, and he developed 
wonderful skill in his most recent vocation. His 
father used to say that he could draw nothing but 
a crowd, but the son, with increasing success, 
produced pictures which worthily adorn any wall, 
and will, no doubt, increase in value with the years. 
His art was one of God's alleviations of the weary 
years that followed his public work, and in Scot- 
land, in the Tyrol, in Bavaria, in Italy, in Switzer- 
land, in Devonshire, around London and his father's 
early haunts in Essex and Cambridgeshire, he 
secured admirable subjects for his brush. He was 



able to have no less than three Exhibitions of his 

The first was held in Walker's Gallery, New Bond 
Street, from October 25th to November 6th, 1909, 
and consisted of no less than eighty pictures. The 
next was in the same gallery, from October 2nd- 
14th, 1911, when he was able to present a hundred 
pictures. The third at the Stockwell Orphanage, 
on behalf of that institution, was held in connection 
with the Annual Festival, from June 21st to 29th, 
1916, and it may best be described in the artist's 
own words in an intimate letter to Mr. Jackson : 
" The whole proceeds of the sale goes to the Or- 
phanage, and some £40 has been reaped. I paid 
even for the framing, so that the good work should 
benefit to the full. Still, what matters it ? — ^the 
Lord knows. This Exhibition has overtaxed my 
slender strength. I am tired beyond measure. I 
got the rest of my pictures back on Friday and have 
been reinstating them. I showed one hundred and 
twenty-four in all, seventy of which are for sale." 

Mrs. Spurgeon amplifies the story by saying that 
some of the pictures, which had been reserved for 
their own home, were sent to grace the Exhibition ; 
these were amongst the earliest sold, and as no 
note was taken of the names of purchasers, it was 
impossible for her husband to produce replicas of 
them, as he had intended to do, for her. But she 
does not complain. 

To return to the earliest exhibition ; its progress 
duing the opening days is shown by some postcards 
to his friend. Oct. 26th. — *' A day of incessant 
rain ; nevertheless, we had many visitors and 


several purchasers." Oct 27th, — " It poured all 
yesterday, yet I took orders and made sales to the 
amount of seven, the perfect number. So that is 
thirty-five sales, and nine or ten orders already." 
Oct. 29th. — '' All goes well. We forge ahead, even 
though the clouds are grey. To-day we have 
reached a half-way house, having sold forty out of 
eighty. In addition to this I have booked perhaps 
a dozen orders." 

It was probably an unprecedented thing for a 
Baptist minister to have a gallery of pictures 
exhibited in the heart of London — perhaps any- 
where. To Spurgeon lovers the scenes that at- 
tracted greatest interest were those associated with 
his father's early history. " C. H. Spurgeon's 
Birthplace, Kelvedon " ; " Isleham Ferry, where 
C. H. Spurgeon was baptized " ; " Cottage at 
Teversham, where C. H. Spurgeon's first sermon 
was preached." There were two different pictures 
of each, and they were in such demand that the 
artist made no less than forty reproductions of 

In a current number of The British Weekly, he 
gives a racy account of his sketching tour in 
Spurgeon's country. He speaks of the kindness 
of Mr. John Chi vers in putting a swift motor-car 
at his disposal ; of the companionship of Charles 
Joseph, of Cambridge, with whom he made a trip to 
Teversham in search of the cottage, which, through 
Mr. Chivers' liberality, has now become a Noncon- 
formist treasure, being used as a reading-room and 
institute. " I had scarcely completed the sky, 
with its cumulus clouds betokening a storm, ere 


there came slowly towards me, down the narrow 
pathway, an old man, somewhat bent. He came 
smiling, however, and I guessed that he was Mr. 
Foote, of whom I had heard, who remembered my 
father's first sermon. As I had a spare camp-stool 
by me I asked him to take a seat, and for an hour 
or more we chatted as I plied my sables." 

The next day he was at Isleham. " I was sorry 
I had to miss the good woman who was baptized 
at the same time as C. H. Spurgeon, and has 
attended well-nigh every ceremony since. When 
one put a finger on my drawing and said signi- 
ficantly, ' It was just there,^ I was better pleased 
than if an art critic had praised the touch or 
admired the tone." The third day was devoted 
to the birthplace at Kelvedon. " I found myself 
quite at one with an onlooker, who declared his 
conviction that ' Spurgeon's side ought to buy that 
property.' I asked for an explanation of the term 
' Spurgeon's side,' and discovered that Noncon- 
formity was intended. Good man, / think so too.'^ 
The press took considerable notice of the Ex- 
hibition. The Baptist Times said : " Mr. Spurgeon 
is an artist born and not made : he paints ' the 
things as he sees them,' and he sees things ' whole 
and steadily,' as well as beautifully. In lending us 
his eyes he is but following what every one who 
knows him will testify has always been the key-note 
of his life, ' Giving out to others.' " The British 
Weekly said : " The pictures I admired most were 
those from the Tyrol and the Bavarian Highlands. 
My favourite of all was ' The street of the Foun- 
tains, Garmisch, Bavaria.' One of his own favour- 


ites is ' Wendover Canal, Bucks.' " The Daily 
Graphic said : " The drawings show an aptitude 
for colour, and a happy knack of seizing the 
picturesque ; some have uncommon merit of feeling 
and execution. ' ' Another popular paper, that shall 
be nameless, said : " Rev. Thomas Spurgeon is now 
an artist. So he can still place his views before the 
public." The Westminster Gazette said : " He 
works in a careful, somewhat old-fashioned manner, 
with none of the affectation that marks the up-to- 
date amateur ; he has an uncommonly good eye 
for arrangement, while his colour is invariably 
respectable, and often decidedly effective." 

As a glimpse into the way the pictures were 
produced this — Mr. F. A. Jackson, who was with 
him at Meran, says : " Perhaps the most impressive 
bit was a glimpse of the Dolomites from above 
Bozen. We had a pretty stiff climb to get that. 
In vain did I protest against it, fearing he would 
be exhausted. He laughed at my ' grandmotherly 
objections,' and indeed, for the most part, he took 
little ill from the long tramps in that delightful air. 
When a sketch pleased him he would stand back 
and admire it : the boy in him that never died 
delighted with the touch of creative work." With 
reference to another picture Mr. Spurgeon, recalling 
Ruskin's description of the Alps, writes to his 
friend : "I have been working at a bare outline 
I brought from Switzerland of the view from the 
Stanserhorn. It is mainly mist and mountain- 
tops, but in the middle distance is a range of 
snow- clad peaks. I think of calling it — what do 
you think ?— ' Suddenly-Behold-Beyond.' " 


If one characterization were needed for Mr. 
Spurgeon it would be " Artist." He was not only 
an artist in line and colour, he was an artist in 
words. This was especially true in his prayers, 
and chiefly in those prayers in the home or amongst 
little groups, when, with amazing wealth of imagery 
and use of the unexpected but inevitable word, he 
gathered up the need of the moment and felt his 
way to the very heart of God. He was also an 
artist in souls, eager to see the likeness of Christ 
reproduced in the lives of men and not satisfied 
with anything but the best. Yes, that is it : in all 
realms — Thomas Spurgeon, Artist. 



As an author Mr. Thomas Spurgeon's hterary 
output is represented by six volumes — he was 
engaged on a seventh at the time of his death, 
but of that later. There are five books of sermons 
and one of verse. The latter, a comparatively 
early effort, with a preface by his mother, was 
published in 1892, printed in two colours in keeping 
with the title. Scarlet Threads and Bits of Blue, 
It contains some capital temperance rhymes and 
dainty religious pieces. He had quite a gift of 
versification, but some of his best poems came 
later. Two verses from this early volume shall 

Yes, Lord, the night is Thine as surely as the day, 
In silver syllables the " milky way" 
Sets forth Thy name upon night's silver scroll. 
In one long line of light from pole to pole. 

The night is Thine ! Its silence speaks of Thee : 
Thine is its hush, and Thine its mystery. 
The stars are Thine : the kindUng sparks that fly 
From Thy great anvil, glorious Most High ! 

Of his first little volume of sermons, published in 
1884, The Gospel of the Grace of God, we have 



already written in Chapter V. The next contained 
twenty sermons selected from the series published 
week by week in 1897, and was entitled Light and 
Love. In 1902 two volumes appeared — My Gospel, 
containing twelve sermons on general subjects, 
and God save the King, ten addresses concerning 
King Jesus and His Royal Estate, suggested by 
the postponed Coronation of King Edward that 
year. On June 26th a great streamer was stretched 
across the Tabernacle, bearing the legend, " Fear 
God, Honour the King.''' 

The book on which he spent most time and 
thought, both on the contents and illustration, was 
entitled Down to the Sea. It consists of chapters 
on themes suggested by the mighty deep and the 
ships that sail thereon, and is full of material for 
preachers, as well as interesting homilies for 
general readers. The author knew what he was 
talking about, for he was at home on the ocean. 
The Chart and Compass, of September 1906, calls 
him " Spurgeon the Sea-Rover." Dr. Dixon says 
of the book, " It ought to be published in cheap 
form, and circulated amongst our sailors by the 
hundred thousand." 

For almost ten years, 1902 to 1912, he was 
editor of The Sword and Trowel, and he took 
his duties in this department seriously. In times 
of ill-health he had the valued help of Dr. McCaig, 
and many of the letters to him concern his editorial 
responsibilities. A very useful series of " Chats 
with the Children " appeared from his pen during 
the year 1904, and during all the years the magazine 
was conducted with signal ability. 


He had long been a contributor to its pages, and 
his writings were much valued and highly praised 
by his father. " You write better every time," he 
said ; " you are really a writer of remarkable 
excellence, style and attractiveness of matter." 
And again, " Your Sword and Trowel pieces are ever 
welcome to Editor and readers. They are better 
and better ; you will make a racy writer, and do 
as well with your pen as with your tongue." His 
earliest appearance was in 1877, when a letter 
signed by both brothers, appealing for their 
" Bolingbroke Chapel," occupied a page. Three 
Australian pieces appeared during 1878, and others 
in 1879 and 1880. In 1880 an interesting series 
on " Sayings from the Sea " stands to his credit ; 
and in 1881 there is a contribution each month, his 
first poem, " Jesus for me," being one of them. 

This year also he began, with " Ants and their 
Antics," the natural history articles which attracted 
much attention. " The Vegetable Caterpillar " fol- 
lowed in 1883 ; "My Birds " and "My Beasts " 
in 1884; " The Ungrateful Bee " in 1885 ; "Glow- 
worms," " Spiders," and " Mosquitoes " in 1889 ; 
" The Kiwi," with a floral initial drawn and en- 
graved by himself, in 1891 ; and " Snails " in 1893. 
These papers might be worth repubhcation in days 
to come. 

" The Pastor's Page " was a feature month by 
month of the year 1897, and poems and sermons 
appeared at intervals all through the years. A 
series of articles entitled, " An Alphabet of Aphor- 
isms " appeared during 1913 ; and another series, 
" On the Wing," reporting his journeys on behalf 


of the Stockwell Orphanage, during 1914. 
Memorial notices and comments on the topics of 
the hour abound, and up to the end there were 
messages from his pen — in 1917 two pieces, " A 
New Song for the New Year," and " An Invincible 
Promise.'* Altogether, there are two hundred and 
sixty pieces of his in The Sword and Trowel volumes, 
a creditable output for a busy preacher. In 
addition to these he contributed occasional articles 
to The Home Messenger, The Christian Endeavour 
Times, Good Words, The Quiver, and to some 
American and New Zealand journals. Descriptive 
pieces about the Stockwell Orphanage were also 
contributed to its quarterly magazine, Within our 

Some of his poems have been given on earlier 
pages. Here one other shall suffice. It is founded 
on a beautiful saying of a Russian convert, as 
reported by Dr. McCaig : "I have loved Jesus a 
little while, but Jesus has loved me all the time." 

Unborn, His love was on me set, 
While still a child, disposed to stray. 
In youth, averse to Wisdom's way ; 

He loved me then. He loves me yet : 

From Spring's bright dew to Winter's rime, 
** Jesus has loved me all the time." 

When dead in trespasses and sin. 

When Godless, strengthless, lost, undone, 

Rebellious as " the younger son," 
The Saviour longed my love to win ; 

'Spite unbeUef — that crowning crime, 

** Jesus has loved me all the time." 

Yea, since He did my heart compel 
His love to answer, and His name to blesa. 
He has not loved one whit the less, 


Though I have failed to love Him well ; 
Hia constancy has proved sublime, 
*' Jesus has loved me all the time.'* 

'Tis like a flood — ^this lasting love, 
From deeps beneath it welleth up ; 
Forth from His ever brimming cup 

It poureth on me from above : 
Beyond its rea>ch I cannot climb, 
For Jesus loves me all the time. 

A little while I've loved, but He 

The charming bells of love and grace, 
Whose music glads the heavenly place. 

Has rung from all eternity ; 

And I shall ever hear their chime. 

He'll love when Time's no longer Time. 



In addition to the Presidency of the College Con- 
ference, to which he was annually elected, Mr. 
Spurgeon was permanent President of the three 
great auxiliaries to the Tabernacle Church — the 
Pastors' College, the Colportage Association, and 
the Stockwell Orphanage. Each of these offices 
carried a measure of responsibility, and it was 
little wonder that at length the burden became too 
heavy to be borne. 

As President of the College from 1896 to the 
end, he sought to maintain the high tradition of his 
father, to train preachers rather than to make 
scholars. " Our policy," said C. H. Spurgeon, 
" has been to imitate the florist, by planting a large 
number of slips in the hope that some of them 
would strike." To Mr. William Olney, then in 
New Zealand, he wrote on May 25th, 1896 : " Last 
Thursday the College trustees asked me to accept 
the Presidency of the College. I feel obliged to 
accept the post, though, truth to tell, I have more 
than enough to do already. But I am just trusting 
for fresh supplies as I need them." In this he had 
the seconding of his brother, and the valued help 
of Principal McCaig and Professors Hackney and 



Gaussen. They all bear witness to his courtesy 
and brotherliness, and to his wise judgment and 
sagacious counsel. He presided over the Selection 
Committee, and his letters bear witness to the 
thoroughness of spirit with which he approached 
the solemn decisions concerning candidates for 

" His messages at the opening or close of session," 
says Dr. McCaig, " were always full of wisdom and 
sparkling with wit, and charged with spiritual 
power, an inspiration to all ; none more so than 
his latest utterances, which, with all the fine 
qualities of previous messages, had a charm and 
pathos arising from his conscious weakness and 
our sympathy with him." 

This reference to his wit suggests that this may, 
perhaps, be the appropriate place to refer to its 
quality. He had his father's faculty of making 
play with words, could pun quite easily, but as the 
years advanced avoided this form of wit rather 
than indulged it, though many a time he must have 
been sorely tempted. C. H. Spurgeon used to say 
that he was most humorous in the pulpit when his 
bodily weakness was greatest, for then he had not 
the power to repress the things that clamoured 
for utterance. 

When Thomas Spurgeon took farewell of the 
College, after his brief studies there, he uttered a 
hon-mot which is quoted to this day ; "I have 
read in Scripture," he said, "that Enoch was 
translated by faith, but I have discovered in college 
that Homer can only be translated by work." 
His father used to tell, with grateful pride, how 

, J 


when he had his boys and others out in the country 
one day in their youth, he set them guessing which 
trees they liked best. Thomas was silent for some 
time, but when his father urged him for his opinion 
he smiled up in his face and answered, " Yew, 
father," an answer that often brought joy to his 
father's heart in after years. 

The joke his father counted as his best is really 
worth repeating. Sucking pig was a luxury-dish 
very much esteemed in Nightingale Lane. I am 
told that it must be eaten hot. One day it was 
brought steaming to the table and father and son 
were in their place, but the worthy Secretary, Rev. 
J. W. Harrald, had not appeared ; he was still in 
the study. " I wonder what is keeping Harrald," 
the father said, " he knows we have sucking pig." 
To which answered Thomas demurely, " Perhaps 
he has a litter upstairs ! " 

To return to College matters. Thomas Spurgeon 
did not find it possible to lecture every Friday as 
his father had done, but he managed to do it 
with some frequency, especially in the earlier years, 
and often these lectures made a great impression. 
In The Sword and Trowel some of them have been 
reproduced. In 1895, " The Three Ns " ; in 1898, 
" The Students' Stoop " ; " Clocks to Mend " ; 
and a most ingenious talk on " How a holiday 
yields illustration." In 1899, " A Proper Sort of 
Parson " ; in 1905, *' The Great Secret " ; in 1907, 
" Affectation." There were many other lectures, 
of course. In the year prior to his death he spoke 
to the men on " The Right Text " and " Trifles." 

Amongst the great bundle of papers Dr. McCaig 


has preserved there are two written messages to 
the students. One is dated April 28th, 1900, and 
conveys to the men the hearty thanks of the Church 
for the help the students had rendered in a mission 
just concluded in the Tabernacle, and impresses 
on them the value to their own ministry of the 
experience. The letter is very grateful to me, but 
it need not here be reproduced. 

The second message to the students is a longer 
document, dated August 1901, and greets the men 
as they reassemble after the holidays. It pokes 
some fun at the tutors, especially at Professor 
Gaussen, who had just got married. " He is twice 
the man he was, which is saying a good deal." 
After praise for tutors and students and a welcome 
to the freshmen, he proceeds : " You are all ready 
for real earnest toil, I trust. The time is short. 
This opportunity will never recur, nor can you 
expect another to be compared to it in value. You 
hardly need urging to work — besides, I think the 
tutors are quite capable of spurring you on should 
it be necessary. They are one with me in urging 
upon you a jealous care of your spiritual life. No 
knowledge is to be compared with the experimental 
acquaintance with ' Jesus Himself.' No books 
can take the place of the Book of books. No hour 
is more helpful than the hour of prayer." And 
much besides. 

In a letter to Dr. McCaig on January 22nd, 1917, 
the year of his death, he urges him to " tell the 
brethren and tutors how grieved I am to be away, 
and wish them all (if not too late) a Happy New 
Year ; or, better still, as Rabbi Duncan said to his 


students, ' Gentlemen, I wish you a Happy Etern- 
ity.' " 

In greeting Mr. F. A. Jackson on June 18th, 1902, 
when he was about to lecture to the students, he 
says ; "In case I find it absolutely necessary to 
conserve my strength in the morning, I send a 
brief message to the brethren. Please assure them 
that it is a matter of deep regret to me that I have 
been so little with them this year. They ought to 
have an able-bodied President, instead of such a 
weakling, but as they have no voice in appointing 
him they must make the best of a bad job till there 
is a change for the better. Yet I am sure they 
could not find one who loves them more." And 
again, at another time, evidently after the Revival 
services at the Tabernacle, he writes : " Tell the 
students that my soul is singing ' Songs of Praises ' 
all the time, including, by the way, a large part 
of the night." 

The students repaid him in deep trust and 
affection. He was their friend, they felt it, and 
therefore his least word was law. Sometimes he 
presided at the Friday lecture when another gave 
it. On July 17th, 1905, he writes again to Dr. 
McCaig an intimate letter, in which he says : 
" Judge Willis was with us yesterday, and paid 
me the high compliment of saying it was worth 
while coming to hear me read ' Lord speak to me,' — 
and he is a judge." 

To very few he would bare his soul like that ; 
but he valued praise and recognition, and when he 
was quite sure of his ground did not scruple to say 
so. To Mr. Jackson he writes, on July 4th, 1905, 


about an altogether different matter. He had been 
invited to speak at one of the mission meetings at 
the Albert Hall. So he says : ** I cannot help 
telling you about last night. When Lord Kinnaird 
called on me — oh my ! I climbed Torrey's dais as 
giddily as a ship boy his mast (first go off). The 
people clapped and cheered and ' went on ' tremend- 
oiis. Talk about ovations. I've scarcely slept a 
wink thinking of it. It has turned my head and 
puffed me up, and all the rest of it. I was helped 
to speak, and received no end of congratulations. 
The Glory Song was sung gloriously, and some man 
sang the ninety and nine most marvellously." 
Then, in a postscript, " Pardon my vanity in telling 
you of my reception, but I know you will be glad, 
and I do praise God for giving me favour in the 
eyes of the people." 

As President of the Stockwell Orphanage he was 
a prime favourite with the girls and boys when he 
visited them — he had no doubt about that : they 
would flock round him to receive his greeting and 
his blessing. At the meetings of the Trustees he 
was just as welcome, and he took a very practical 
share in the guidance and governance of the 
institution. When he resigned the pastoral over- 
sight of the Tabernacle Church he devoted himself, 
as we have seen, to painting. But that was only 
a phase, and a new avenue of service eventually 
presented itself, which brought help both to College 
and Orphanage. 

The first suggestion of it was made by Rev. T. LI. 
Edwards, at the annual meeting of the College on 
May 7th, 1908. It appears that I had spoken imtil 


a late hour and there were but a few minutes left, 
so he boldly made a plunge for his plan. Turning 
to Mr. Spurgeon he said, " And what shall this man 
do?" "Ah, what?" said the President; on 
which Mr. Edwards urged that he should take the 
world for his parish, and go forth to plead the needs 
of both College and Orphanage. 

The suggestion took root. In the middle of the 
following night Thomas Spurgeon burst into 
laughter, and when his wife asked the reason, he 
answered, " I think I can see Edwards now, looking 
into my eyes and saying, ' And what shall this man 
do ? ' " Not until two years had passed was the 
plan put into execution ; then, with Mr. Edwards 
as honorary secretary, the " Thomas Spurgeon 
Deputation Fund " was organized, and in the 
autumn of 1911 he began a ministry which embraced 
Great Britain, lasted for three years, and, in 
addition to the spiritual impulse it gave to the 
Churches visited, brought in some £3,000 to the 
agencies it was designed to help. 

The diaries and the correspondence connected 
with it are before me as I write. Mr. Spurgeon 
threw himself without reserve into the business, 
preaching and lecturing north and south and east 
and west, making hosts of friends for the Institu- 
tions and for himself ; as some of the letters sent 
to those who were his hosts, and treasured by them, 
plainly testify. He himself writes at this period, 
*' I found quite a number of new friends. I shall 
have room for them without shelving any of the 
old ones." 

The details of this quest would be tedious, but 


almost at random I lay my hand on a request for 
a visit from Berwick-upon-Tweed, signed by Mayor, 
sheriffs, aldermen, councillors, ministers, and 
others ; a programme which announces Mr. 
Spurgeon as the preacher in St. Giles' Cathedral, 
Edinburgh, and lecturer in the Assembly Hall ; a 
report of a visit to one place in these words, " the 
people are poor, or else there is a copper mine in 
the district — I toiled hard for £9 12s" ; another, 
" All very good, except the liberty taken with my 
name. I am not, and never was, the Rev. Tom 

Toward the close of the year 1912 Mr. Spurgeon 
was approached with a view to a visit to South 
Africa and New Zealand, and for some time such a 
visit was seriously entertained, but was at length 
found to be impracticable; and, largely on the 
ground of health, and on expert advice that 
absolute rest was essential, on July 23rd, 1914, he 
definitely resigned the work which had at first 
seemed to be within his powers, and had already 
been fruitful to a large degree. On June 14th, 1913, 
he wrote, " I am a sort of flying machine, but in 
July I shall turn turtle." The following July he 
came down with broken wings. 

The two years' interval between the suggestion 
of this work and its adoption were passed chiefly 
in Devonshire and Cornwall, with intervals in 
London largely for Orphanage and College business. 
Two periods were spent at Paignton — from Nov- 
ember 29th, 1909, to June 14th, 1910 ; and from 
September 23rd, 1910, to April 20th, 1911. During 
this second visit Mr. Spurgeon preached every 


Sunday morning and every Tuesday evening at the 
Baptist Church, which was then pastorless. 

On the death of the headmaster of the Orphanage, 
Rev. V. J. Charlesworth, Mr. Spurgeon, being 
now free and somewhat stronger, was appointed 
as Director of the Orphanage, still holding the 
office of President. Writing to Mr. G. A. Eaton 
on February 15th, 1915, he says : "I shall be glad 
of your prayers and your friends' prayers that God 
will set His seal on this appointment. It has 
come as such a surprise, and is such a providence." 
In spite of his physical weakness, he was able to 
render important service in this new post. He 
wrote to Rev. Edward Last on February 27th, 
1916 : "I am thankful to be able still for a little 
hedging and ditching on my Master's farm." But by 
January 26th, 1917, he found this too great a strain 
and retired from it. To his confidant, Mr. Jackson, 
he writes : " You will be glad to hear that I have 
resigned the Stockwell Orphanage directorship. / 
could stand it no longer, and when I fell sick at 
Christmas-time I thought it was my opportunity. 
To-day the Board has regretfully agreed to what I 
insisted on. I shall remain President and Editor, 
and Special Commissioner, Answerer, Matrons' 
Prayer-Meeting Conductor, Sword and Trowel 
notes writer — isn't that enough ? C. S. is to take up 
deputation work, on a bigger scale than mine. You 
will be interested to know that I have undertaken 
to write the history of the Stockwell Orphanage to 
its Jubilee — not quite my sort of writing, this. 
Still, I am having a shot at it, and I hope I shan't 
miss. I must have an analogy, you know, as I am 


attempting to write on A Goodly Cedar. It seems 
to lend itself — God-planted, its growth, its glory 
and beauty, its scent, its music, its shade, its sap, 
its support and protection and pruning, etc., etc." 

In developing the idea in a letter to his friend, 
Mr. William Higgs, he notes that George Miiller's 
work was compared by C. H. S. to cedars of Le- 
banon, and that " fifty is the youth of age." After 
giving the outline of Contents, he says : " Under 
some such headings I hope to bring in everything 
of interest and use. I hope the idea is worth 
developing and will prove a change from the 
ordinary official guide-book style." 

He did well that it was in his heart, but the idea 
was frustrated by a paralytic stroke, and the care 
of the Orphanage has now passed into the capable 
hands of his brother, who, as President -Director, is 
making the Jubilee year, without the book, a time 
of advance. May the future hold for him and for 
Spurgeon's Orphanage much prosperity and grace ! 

The third Presidency was that of the Metropolitan 
Colportage Association. Mr. Spurgeon's interest 
in this good work was evidenced by his addresses 
at the Annual Conference of the Colporteurs. In 
The Sword and Trowel for 1895, we find one on 
" Constancy and Consistency " ; and in 1896 
another on K. E. P. T., while in the volume for 
1899 there is a plea for colportage under the title, 
" A Mighty Weapon " ; and in 1901 another appeal, 
" It is still perfectly true." 

So to the end his life was full of faith and of good 
works. Where he came he was the natural leader, 
where he led there was blessing and goodwill. 



Of the last year of Mr. Spurgeon's life little need 
be said. He lived in retirement, and his house was 
taken down, not suddenly, but brick by brick. 
He saw the end approaching, but it came gently, 
and he was never less than his brave, considerate 
self, all the while. " San Remo," his charming but 
modest residence, is near Tooting Bee Common, 
and he used to walk there ; later, when he was 
partially paralysed, he walked only in his own 
little garden, a garden to which Mrs. Spurgeon has 
devoted herself with love and skill, as much for 
his sake as for her own. She and his daughter 
Vera were in constant attendance on the invalid : 
for a little while they went to Tunbridge Wells, and 
stayed with his friend. Rev. F. J. Feltham ; but 
there was no place like home, and there the un- 
eventful waiting days were spent, not unregarded 
indeed by his friends outside, but almost sacred to 
his own family circle. On the morning of Oc- 
tober 20th, 1917, he spoke of a pain between his 
eyes, and lapsed into unconsciousness ; and while 
the sun was yet high in the sky he passed to his 



The wonder was not that he died at sixty-one, 
but that he lived so long. He was four years older 
than his father. When it is remembered that twice 
he had to flee our shores because of threatened 
lung trouble, it is remarkable that there was no 
mischief there at the end. All along he suffered 
from nephritis, which developed into arterio 
sclerosis, and the direct cause of death was the 
breaking of an artery in the brain. Though he 
was always a good soldier, he was ever conscious 
that there was something wrong, and never felt 
quite normal. " The doctor is, I think, a little 
disappointed that I have not made more headway," 
he wrote to Rev. Austin L. Edwards, when he was 
staying at Llandrindod Wells, " but I myself am 
not surprised, therefore not discouraged." 

Some of his own references to his health may 
perhaps be assembled at this point. To Jackson 
he wrote on April 2nd, 1906 : " The doctor over- 
hauled me on Monday and pronounced me better. 
It was news to me — but good news. He ought to 
know. He counsels patience. Ah ! patience, 
that's it. Patience sees the grape- juice turned into 
the sweetmeat and the mulberry leaf into silk." 
And on May 8th, 1914 : " I have suffered from 
almost constant headache, and when I feel a little 
stronger the next meeting pulls me off my perch 
again. Terrible slackness, the doctor calls my 
condition, and such indeed it is." 

To Rev. Philip A. Hudgell on December 27th, 
1914 : " The specialist says I ought never to have 
engaged in that deputation work, and must never 
dream of resuming it. It appears that to do 


nothing is the only hope of doing some little 
jmething." On February 8rd, 1915, he writes 
to Dr. McCaig : " On Sunday evening I was pressed 
in the spirit, and have been oppressed in the body 
ever since " ; while to Rev. Walter Owen, of 
Penzance, on January 26th, 1916, this is his report : 
" I am not much in the papers now. I have had 
my share thereof. I am grateful, though, that I 
have not yet figured in the Obituary Colunm." 

The celebration of his Diamond Jubilee on 
September 20th, 1916, gave his friends an oppor- 
tunity of special greeting. An interviewer of 
The Christian writes : " Looking back over the 
sixty years, Mr. Spurgeon's uppermost feeling is 
one of overwhelming gratitude for the goodness 
and mercy that have followed him continually, and 
particularly for the special grace and strength 
granted, so that a full and fruitful life has been 
lived, notwithstanding severely hampering con- 
ditions. He feels himself to be, not in midstream, 
but in more or less of a backwater ; yet his firm 
grip upon life is well maintained, and he is upheld 
by the consciousness of the affectionate goodwill of 
a host of friends both in this country and at the 

Again we must draw on his intimacies with F. A. 
Jackson ; " You decline to believe I am sixty. 
Oh ! but I could at times believe myself to be a 
hundred. I have had congratulations galore. The 
letters were lying (only in one sense, I think) 
seventy deep before the day was done, and the 
kind notices and articles in The Baptist Times, The 
British Weekly, The Christian, and The Life of 


Faith, are bringing me in a fresh and fragrant crop. 
It is all very wonderful and humbling. It must 
be confessed it is very gratifying, too." 

Of him Jackson writes : " Even in sickness, of 
which he seemed to have more than his share ; in 
sorrow and distress, of which he bore a man's full 
load ; and under the pressure of exhausting labours 
and solemn responsibilities, I cannot recall an 
instance in which he was less than his lovable self. 

" Did ever a man so poke fun at his own aches 
and pains, or make his own sick-room such a place 
of wholesome mirth ? He was ill indeed when he 
could no longer make those that were near him 
laugh or smile. 

" His nature was utterly foreign to subterfuge of 
every sort. A master of tact, he was incapable of 
pretence, and it is safe to say that if ever he made 
an enemy his enemy never challenged, or so much 
as questioned, his honour. 

" Of that still deeper thing — his intimate inter- 
course with Christ — I must not write, except to 
say this : it was the ruling passion of his life. 

" As the Samoan chief said of Stevenson, so 
would I say of my friend : ' The day was never 
long enough for his kindness.' " 

Rev. Hugh D. Brown, of Dublin, who was his 
intimate friend, writes : " To my mind, the best 
sermon I ever heard from him was the somewhat 
quaint and suggestive utterance, ' Bar and all,' 
and now he has had through grace a ' bar and all ' 
salvation into the presence of the King. 

" When we once had the joy of a couple of weeks' 
fellowship at Loch Katrine, I remember our visiting 


Glengyle, the home of the MacGregors, where, in 
their romantic family burial ground, the inscription 
upon the central tomb ran thus concerning one of 
the departed heroes : ' Who did his best for the 
old name ' ; and methinks I can see another penman 
write this inspired epitaph in connection with our 
beloved brother : ' Thou hast borne, and hast 
patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured and 
hast not fainted.' " 

Here, I think, we may pause, and let his son, 
Mr. T. Harold Spurgeon, speak. He is good 
enough to write to me from his home in Dublin 
with the characteristic name of " Bohernabreena," 
and says : " The following scraps are, I am afraid, 
only trivialities in the life of one who ' filled the 
public eye ' as much as my dear father did, albeit 
to me they are very precious memories. I send 
them along in the hope that amongst them there 
may be, perhaps, one or two touches that may 
serve : please do not feel that I shall mind in the 
least if you think there is nothing worthy of in- 
clusion, for, from the public point of view, I have 
come to the same conclusion. 

" One of my earliest definite recollections of 
father dates back to the autumn of 1899. We were 
in the train coming home from ' Westwood ' (how 
brim-full of happiness those days were for me !), 
and, seeing his eyes full of sadness and anxiety as 
he read the evening paper, I asked him what was 
wrong. ' I'm afraid there's going to be war, old 
boy ; and it's a wrong war ' ; — ^and he explained 
to me very simply the trouble in South Africa, and 
stamped my child's mind with a hatred of Jingoism 


which has remained, and will remain, please God, 
as long as I live. 

" Busy as he always was at the Tabernacle, he 
would find time almost every day to amuse and 
instruct us. A great feature of those days was his 
' spelling-bees,' which usually took place at tea- 
time, and it was exceptional indeed when he failed 
to propound one word, at least, which would baffle 
us both. Inaccurate spelling was always one of 
his bSteS'fioires, and he spared no pains to ensure 
our correctness in this respect. 

" He took considerable interest in Biblical 
archaeology, and many happy hours I have spent 
as a child with him over CasselVs Bible Dictionary^ 
while he explained the pictures to me. One of the 
red-letter days of my life was when (in May, 1901) 
he took me on my first visit to the British Museum : 
we began with the Egyptian and Assyrian Depart- 
ment, and I don't think we got any further than 
that ; I felt I could stay there for ever, and I think 
he was well content. In the afternoon of that 
same day he took me for the first time to Kenning- 
ton Oval. It was Surrey v, Gloucester, and I shall 
never forget my breathless interest as he pointed 
out to my admiring gaze such mighty ones as 
Bobby Abel and Tom Richardson, and G. L. Jessop. 
He was very fond of cricket all his life, and we went 
back together to the Oval more than once in 
after years. 

" Another unforgettable day, of a very different 
sort, is that on which my dear mother's life was 
hanging in the balance during her serious illness 
towards the end of 1908. He had just lost his own 


dear mother, and he called Vera and me into the 
dining-room, and prayed for Mother and for us 
and for himself, as only he could pray. I cannot 
recall anything he said ; but the spirit of that 
prayer is with me still. 

" Ever since my schooldays began he used to 
talk a good deal to me about literature. I think 
there was nothing he really loved just as much as 
The Ancient Mariner ; he would read it and re-read 
it, and quote it again and again. Perhaps I should 
not have said ' nothing,' for I fancy not even it 
came before The Pilgrim'' s Progress. Other favour- 
ites of his were Milton (he loved to hear him read 
aloud), and Richard Jefferies and Carlyle. He had 
intense reverence for Ruskin as an art critic : I 
doubt whether he felt just the same about his 
Economics. He read Dickens over and over again : 
his favourite books he had been through many 

" I do not recall ever hearing him speak with any 
appreciation of Shakespeare or of Tennyson ; I 
asked him once, a few years ago, what he thought 
of Browning, but he only replied, ' I can't read 
him ; he's too deep for me.' (I fancy it was the 
brusque style rather than the deep philosophy that 
was the real barrier in this case.) His delight when 
I sent him, three or four years ago, a copy of Francis 
Thompson's Hound of Heaven, knew no bounds. 
A year or two later he wrote to me, ' Oh ! what joy 
Francis Thompson's ' Kingdom of God ' has 
brought me lately ! ' (I had copied out the poem 
and sent it over to him, thinking it would be after 
his own heart.) 


" Of his graciousness and modesty I need not 
say much, for you know. He wrote to me once, 
' It is sweet to be loved, even if one has to wonder 
why.' On one occasion he met with an artist of 
some note, who subjected his work to pretty 
severe criticism. Father closes his account of the 
interview with these words, ' It was well to sit at the 
feet of a Master — even though he kicked at times ! ' 

" Yet, as all know, he could hit hard ; I have 
seen bumptiousness and bluster cower on more 
than one occasion before his gentle and serene 
dignity. ' Well, Mr. Spurgeon,' said an influential 
host of his, at the time that the present Premier 
was at the height of his unpopularity with the 
capitalist class, seven years or so ago, ' what do 
you think of that abominable man, Lloyd George ? ' 
' I think he is a God-raised man,' was the reply. 
The subject was abruptly changed. 

" He was always an optimist, even about himself, 
but I think he knew during his last few years that 
the end (as we pagan-souled Christians still call 
it !) was not far off. He wrote to me in June, 1916, 
' How I wish I could say " I am really better." 
The little rest has freshened me up a bit, but I 
cannot disguise from myself that (to put it mildly) 
I am NOT getting better. Yet all is well, and I 
may serve another day, if the Lord sees fit.' When 
I saw him last, in August of last year, he talked 
quite freely (as far as his speech would allow him, 
poor dear) of his Home-going. ' They say it might 
be any time. ... I'm ready, . . . but we should all 
be ready ; ... it may be you that will be taken 
first, old boy.' 


" The last letters I received from him (just before 
the first stroke) were very full of the projected 
history of the Orphanage, which he was just under- 
taking. He says : ' Figures and facts require a 
good deal of hunting up and verifying, and thrice- 
told incidents are difficult to re-tell, but I shall 
break the back of it by and by, if I don't, in the 
meantime, break my own ! . . . It is not quite my 
sort of writing — still, I have pleasure in hunting 
for the gold, in putting it into the crucible, and in 
trying to fashion a crown.' " 

In London he had three homes : 87, KnatchbuU 
Road, Camber well ; 14, Macaulay Road, Clapham 
Common ; and 40, Prentis Road, Streatham, 
where he fell asleep. At intervals during his 
wandering days he had rooms in various places, 
chiefly at Montrell Road, Streatham Hill, where 
he returned again and again. In his last home, 
" San Remo," his widow and daughter still reside, 
facing life bravely with the heritage of a name the 
world honours and of a memory fragrant with 

Rev. H. H. Driver, who accompanied him on one 
of his voyages, says truly, as reported in The New 
Zealand Baptist : " His own lovely life was more 
eloquent than his finest sermon. He ever radiated 
the sunshine of a singularly unselfish heart. He 
found his chief pleasure in diffusing happiness 
around him. Few men had a finer capacity for 
friendship. He grappled to himself with hooks of 
steel the spirits he found congenial to his own." 


Dr. McCaig, in his men^orial article, wrote truly : 
" Undoubtedly he had the pastor's heart. Who 
could have been more sympathetic with the 
sorrowing, more tender to the erring, more en- 
couraging to the downcast ? How the people 
used to crowd around him at the prayer-meeting 
to get a pleasant smile, a cheery word, and a grip 
of his hand, that hand which had so much of the 
softness of his father's. The young were naturally 
attracted to him, and, most singular, the oldest 
people were the most attached to him." 

"Even in the last months," Mr. F. H. Ford 
recalls, " when his weakness and pain were at their 
worst, he constantly thought of the needs of others, 
and, as one who knew him best remarked, ' he was 
always trying to make some one happy.' As the 
invalid passed along the roads in his short periods 
of exercise, the little children would run across, 
kiss his hand, and speed away. Of incidents which 
could be mentioned that tell the kindliness of his 
heart, one little story is too tempting to omit. On 
the eve of Christmas last, the sick pastor remem- 
bered the household of a worthy minister, where 
he thought the preparations for the festive season 
might be inadequate. With his own hands he 
carried the Christmas dinner to the house through 
densely dark streets, and refusing the help of the 
shopkeeper lest a mistake in delivery might be 
made, handed the package to the good housewife." 

What he said at the second anniversary of his 
father's death might now be said of himself: 
" During more than one stormy passage across the 
ocean I have seen the captain mount his bridge 


and stand by the instrument that communicates 
with the engine-room below. Sometimes he takes 
the lever and moves it to ' Stand by.' Down in 
the engine-room all is attention, for they expect 
another order presently. I think the Great Captain 
has His hand upon the telegraphic instrument in 
the case of some of you who have indications that 
you are nearing the port, and God says ' Stand by ' ; 
be ready for the next order ! ! Stand prepared 
for what is coming soon. Then He moves the 
needle a little later to ' Slow.' Presently the Lord 
Himself will grasp the lever again and put it to 
' Stop.' Soon after that the cable is run out, the 
ship is brought up, and the voyage is over. So 
has it been with our dear pastor. How could that 
ship maintain such wondrous speed so long ! " 

He had faced death and conquered it long before 
the last call came, faced it for himself and others. 

When Mr. Thomas Cox, an old student of the 
college, and for thirty-two years an Elder of 
the Church, died, Mr. Spurgeon gave the address 
at his funeral on March 19th, 1914. As an example 
of the way he could call forth friendship on the 
part of others because he gave himself to them, a 
part of the address may be quoted : 

" Nor need you wonder that I myself speak 
tearfully of him. He was my father's friend and 
my own friend. I could tell you things, trifling in 
themselves perhaps, which showed so plainly that 
this man of few words and quiet mood was full of 
heart, and much more than a mere philosopher. 

" I may be allowed to tell of my last interview 
with my friend. At my entry he seemed slow to 


recognize me, but he gradually awoke to the fact 
that his message to the effect that he was ' very, 
very ill,' had brought me to his side. He was calm, 
resigned, and even cheerful, and oh ! so grateful. 
I read to him the portion for the day in Morning 
by Morning, then offered prayer, and attempted to 
say farewell. Then it was that, sitting up in his 
bed — a somewhat gaunt figure it must be owned, 
yet full of graciousness withal — he held my hand in 
both of his, and proceeded to pronounce on me the 
benediction Jehovah gave the priests of Israel to 
bless His people with : ' The Lord bless thee and 
keep thee : the Lord make His face to shine upon 
thee, and be gracious unto thee : the Lord lift up 
His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.' 
Then followed a heartfelt ' Amen ' from both of us. 

" I value that blessing more than I can say. I 
believe, with C. H. Spurgeon, that ' God allows His 
people whom He has made kings and priests to put 
His name upon others, and to pronounce blessings 
upon them : their word shall stand, and what they 
bound on earth shall be bound in heaven.' " 

In the early Tabernacle days, when there were 
many perplexities, in one of his Conference talks 
he ejaculated, " Oh ! when shall we get into the 
blue." The College Principal treasured the sen- 
tence, and when the President departed, wrote 
some verses with the refrain. Two of them, which 
will find response in the hearts of others, run : — 

" The rocks and the shoals of his life are all past. 
Safely is weathered each pitiless blast. 
And the calm clear water is reached at last 
And glad is the mariner true." 


'* And we who have loved him longest and best. 
Though by his passing our hearts are opprest. 
Yet may rejoice he has entered his rest, 

And has now passed into the blue." 

Hundreds of messages were sent to Mrs. Spurgeon 
when it became known that Thomas Spurgeon had 
passed. Not a few wrote that he had been to them 
the dearest friend on earth ; all recalled his courtesy 
and gentleness. Three telegrams are treasured. 
From Auckland Tabernacle, " Deepest Christian 
sympathy on loss of one held in honoured memory." 
From Hugh D. Brown, who was so soon to follow 
him, " Irish Baptists thanking God for stalwart 
leader, noble character, kindly heart, unswerving 
Calvary loyalty, tender profound sympathy. John 
seventeen twenty-four." While from Toronto, 
Dr. and Mrs. A. Hall sent the message, " Our 
mourning hearts send tenderest sympathy. Place 
anchor to dearest of dear friends." 

The Baptist Church of Paris sent a letter written 
both in French and English, and signed by all the 
members of the Church present at the meeting. 
Rev. J. H. Shakespeare sent a fitting message on 
behalf of the Baptist Union. Dr. Charles Brown 
said : "It was a great privilege to know him, a 
privilege for which I shall always be thankful. One 
is disposed to envy him now, and to say with special 
emphasis, ' Blessed are the dead which die in the 
Lord,' away from this world which is plunged in 
tears and sorrow." 

Miss R. L. Clark is good enough to send me a 
copy of some verses Mr. Spurgeon wrote in her 
album, entitled " At Home." The first five stanzas 


describe the scene of an artist, no doubt himself, 
and a little maid who drew nearer and nearer to 
his easel. 

" Where do you live, my little maid ? '* 

The artist softly said, 
Forthwith she let her eyelids down. 

And shook her golden head. 

So he, as if to say, " Is this 

Or that your dwelling place ? " 
His pencil poised, first here, then there, 

The while he watched her face. 

He pointed to the old church tower. 

And to the windmill hill. 
Then to the red-roofed cottages. 

But she was silent still. 

The sketch complete, " Good-bye, good-bye, 

My little friend,'* he said. 
" Please — Sir — I — lives — at home," she cried. 

And thro' the cornfield sped. 

They ask me where my heaven will be, 

I little light afford, 
I only know that I shall dwell 

" At home" with my dear Lord. 

The funeral service was held in the Metropolitan 
Tabernacle on Friday, October 26th, 1917. Dr. 
J. W. Ewing presided. Dr. A. C. Dixon read the 
Scripture. Rev. Dinsdale T. Young led in prayer. 
Rev. F. J. Feltham gave an address full of feeling 
and grace, the Orphanage children sang, and then 
the wearied body was taken to its last resting-place 
in Norwood Cemetery, where, after another brief 
service, it was laid hard by his father's tomb, 


awaiting the day when they both shall rise amidst 
the multitude of other saints who rest in those 

The last public meeting Thomas Spurgeon 
addressed was held at Tooting on behalf of the 
Pioneer Mission. He came in late and at first sat 
in the congregation. I happened to be there, and 
when I had spoken, the Chairman, Mr. John Chown, 
called him up, and welcomed him with a dignified 
grace and a tender courtesy that even at the time 
reminded me of Mary anointing the Lord for His 
burial. After some general references, Mr. Spur- 
geon spoke from his deepest heart of his own 
experience of Christ. And where did this champion 
of orthodoxy find expression for it ? In Francis 
Thompson ! The two men were so different, and 
yet they both had suffered, and both believed. So 
it was with an accent of conviction that Spurgeon 
quoted the verses : 

" But (when so sad thou canst not sadder) 
Cry I and upon thy so sore loss 
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob's ladder. 
Pitched between Heaven and Charing Cross. 

" Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter, 
Cry — clinging Heaven by the hems. 
And lo, Christ walking on the water 
Not of Gennesareth but Thames!" 

Other things he said, exhorting us all to the highest, 
and ere he closed his neat ten minutes' speech, he 
reverted again to Thompson's poem, " In no 
strange land." It scarcely sounded like poetry, 
and probably most persons there thought the words 


to be his own, but an awe fell upon the people as he 
spoke them in that voice so like his father's, full 
of tone and tenderness, with a strong grasp of the 
hand when he reached the final clause : 

" O world invisible, we view thee ; 
O world intangible, we touch thee, 
O world unknowable, we know thee, 
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee." 

We went homeward together in the same tram- 
car, and — a small thing, but not a slight thing, for 
it was a symbol — he paid my fare. I render him 
this tribute. 


Asquith, Mr., 15 

Baptist Missionary Society, 199, 

Baptist Union, 30 
Baptist World's Congress, 203 
Beecher, Henry Ward, 5, 223 
Benson, Archbishop, 21 
Binney, Thomas, 3 
Birch, WiUiam, 134, 138 
Booth, General, 28, 253 
Bost, Pastor John, 84 
Brock, Dr., 130 
Brown, Archibald G., 147, 196, 197, 

Brown, Dr. Charles, 299 
Brown, Hugh D., 198, 206, 290 299 
Bunning, Mr., 62, 66, 95 

Carey, William, 25, 31 
Charlesworth, V. J., 285 
Chivers, John, 268 
Chown, John, 301 
Clifford, Dr. John, 8 
Clow, Professor W. W., 251 
Cook, Dr. Joseph, 106, 262 
Cooper, J. R., 117 
Cox, Thomas, 297 
Crouch, Douglas C, 263 
Culross, Dr., 8 
Cuyler, Dr. Theodore L., 168 

Dane, Major H. C, 106 

Denney, Dr. James, 29 

Denny, T. A., 198 

Dixon, Dr. A. C, 160, 211, 236, 273, 

Driver, H, H., 117, 142, 296 

Eaton, G. A., 285 
Edwards, Austin L., 263, 288 
Edwards, T. L., 282, 283 
Ellis, E. H., 264 

Ewing, Dr. J. W., 198, 262, 263, 

Feltham, F. J., 287, 300 
Ferrier, Professor, 7 
Forbes, Stanhope, 234 
Ford, F. H., 193, 296 
Fullerton, W. Y., 86, 146, 169, 196, 
215, 240, 264, 301 

Gatissen, Professor, 278 

Gibson, Mr., of Tasmania, 74, 95, 

135, 137 
Gilmore, J. D., 126 
Grace, 124, 218, 233, 236, 237, 238 
Green, John Richard, 84 
Greenhough, J. G., 251 

Hackney, Professor, 277 

Hall, Dr. and Mrs. Alfred, 178, 299 

Hall, James, 247 

Hall, Dr. John, 171 

Harrald, J. W., 145, 153, 279 

Harrison, J. S., 90, 100, 103, 107, 

Higgs, Mr. and Mrs. W., 153, 168, 

163, 173, 178, 191, 194, 197, 200, 

243, 246, 259, 260, 286 
Hill, J., 210 

Horton, Dr. Robert, 236 
Hudgell, Philip A., 263, 288 
Hughee, Hugh Price, 206, 263 




Jackson, F. A., 201, 240, 246, 248, 
261, 262, 267, 270, 281, 285, 288, 
Joseph, Charles, 268 
Jowett,Dr, J. W., 198, 236 

Kinnaird, Lord, 198 

Lane, W. R., 207 
Last, Edward, 285 

Macarthur, Dr., 6, 160, 247 

Maclaren, Dr., 134, 169, 198, 236 

Mckclaren, Ian, 5 

Mannington, W., 247 

Mamham, John, 198 

McCaig, Dr., 87, 207, 246, 262, 273, 

275, 276, 278, 280, 281, 289, 296, 

McCheyne, R. M. M., 225 
McCiillough, R., 87, 95, 98 
McKenzie, Peter, 230 
McNeill, John, 198,206 
Meyer, Dr. F. B., 185, 198, 200, 251 
Moody, D. L„ 4, 27, 151, 154, 158, 

160, 239 
Morgan, Dr. Campbell, 201 
Morley, Lord, 8 
Mott, Dr. John, 29 
Miiller, George, 84, 130, 131, 251 

NicoU, Sir W. Robertson, 9, 29 
North, Mr., 129 

Ohiey, T. H., 164, 176, 176, 178, 

Ohiey, WilUam, 157, 173, 277 
Owen, Walter, 289 

Palmer, Levi, 253 

Parker, Dr. Joseph, 252, 253 

Parr, J. Tolfree, 198 

Passmore, J. E., 197 

Phillips, Thomas, 236 

Pierson, Dr. A. T., 149, 166, 172, 

Potter, W. S., 127 

Reed, Mr. and Mrs. Henry, 96 
Rice, W. E., 119, 120 
Roberts, Evan, 29 
Rutherford, Gideon, 66, 72, 79, 95, 
99, 128, 129 

Saillens, Dr. Reuben, 198, 241, 242, 

Sankey,IraD.,27, 169, 197 
Sawday, C. B., 178 
Selway, Mr., 38 
Shakespeare, J. H., 299 
Slater, J. K., 247 
Smith, Gipsy, 206 
Smith, J. Manton, 86, 209, 241 
Somerville, E. L., 85 
Stephens, James, 187 

Spurgeon,C. H., 1, 6, 9, 11, 17, 32, 

88, 144 

Letters, 17, 47, 58, 71, 76, 101, 

173, 175, 254, 255, 256 
Spurgeon, Mrs. C. H., 39, 79, 108, 

195, 208 
Spurgeon, Charles, 17, 31, 44, 58, 

78, 82, 129, 153, 200, 215, 216, 

Spurgeon, Dr. J. A., 148, 156, 179, 

Spurgeon, John, 2, 210, 252 

Taylor, Hudson, 84 
Thomas, John, 197 
Thompson, Francis, 293, 301 
Thirtle, Dr., 37 

Varley, Henry, 74 

Welsh Revival, 29, 207 
Whitefield, George, 5, 218 
Whyte, Dr. Alexander, 8 
Williams, Sir George, 197 
Wood, Harry, 96 

Young, Dinsdale T., 198, 200, 300 

Printed in Ortat Britain by Hazell, Watson A Viney, Ld. 
London and Aylesbury, 


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